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Comments

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App Enables Surfing Over SMS/MMS Through T-Mobile

RobertB-DC SMS Server Slashdotted? (149 comments)

I went straight to the Market to download the browser for my Android. Fired it up... now I'm stuck at "Request sent. Waiting for response..."

I suspect that every other T-Mobile Android user on Slashdot is doing the same, and the poor guy's SMS gateway is now a smoldering heap of slag.

Interestingly, the Market reported that the download count was "10+". Obviously, there's some latency there...

more than 3 years ago
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App Enables Surfing Over SMS/MMS Through T-Mobile

RobertB-DC Re:Privacy? (149 comments)

It's also explicitly noted in the app's Options:

Confirm HTTPS Requests (checked by default)

Prompt for confirmation before sending HTTPS requests (recommended as HTTPS requests sent through Smozzy are not secure)

more than 3 years ago
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1970s Polaroid SX-70 Cameras Make a Comeback

RobertB-DC Re:Why aren't these still available? (106 comments)

So I guess you want to forget about any good parties you went to?

I've always heard that the best parties ARE the ones you can't quite remember clearly...

more than 3 years ago
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AT&T Kills $10 Texting Plan, Pushes $20 Plan

RobertB-DC Re:Henry Mencken was right (348 comments)

I think for my first Android software project I'm going to come up with a text message like program that uses your data plan. I could make a killing on something like that if it took off. Although I'll probably get my ass sued off by patent trolls so I may not bother.

Right after you build your time machine to go back in time 4 years before the 100+ other people already made apps that do just that for Android / iOS.

Yeah, but he'll still have a niche, in the 45 minutes between when his app hits the Market and when the process server brings the patent lawsuit papers.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Alternatives To Tor Browser Bundle For Windows?

RobertB-DC Browser ID and the short attention web (201 comments)

Your point is well-constructed... but it also shows that you have a bias towards content over presentation.

The fact that it's all one long paragraph, is missing occasional letters, and may have small grammatical errors is absolutely irrelevant to the point that you are making. You used concrete examples and came to a logical conclusion.

But the rest of the world is biased toward presentation over content. It's sad, sure... but it's been that way since the Eternal September, and it's not going to change. In fact, the short-attention-span web is hurtling forward 140 characters at a time, thanks to look-a-birdy sites like Twitter and Facebook.

And in that web, you have to know what browser your visitor is using, so that you can give them the brain candy they want before they lose interest and look, a birdy.

more than 3 years ago
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High-Bandwidth Users Are Just Early Adopters

RobertB-DC Ahead of the curve (162 comments)

The cell phone companies are way ahead of the curve on this one. They've been working on ways to screw us over for years now... and the more you know about making the sausage (from sites like HoFo), the more you know how bad you're getting it. Especially in the US.

Just a few days ago, I got a text message from T-Mobile saying, "Texas Recovery Fee now included on monthly bill." Oh for crying out loud. Does the grocery store charge me a "Municipal Services Recovery Fee" to get back the cost of their food service license? Even the tire store doesn't charge the "tire disposal fee" if I tell them to load 'em up in the back seat. I'd drop 'em in a minute if it weren't for two things: 1) Everyone else is just as bad or worse, and 2) T-Mo makes it easy and *cheaper* to stay *out* of a contract, which actually makes me *more* likely to stay.

more than 3 years ago
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Goodbye, HD Component Video

RobertB-DC Re:Confused (469 comments)

A society where we try to eliminate 100% of the wrongness-- I mean honestly TRY-- is a horrible society. We have to accept some loss; at a level we must take some serious steps to curb that loss, but below that we have to accept it as a price of living in a pleasant, civilized society with something we like to call "freedom." Those of us who are upstanding citizens are essential to maintaining this "freedom," and even those of us that aren't but only occasionally lean across the ethical barriers we normally respect are keeping the system healthy by not building our house over on that side or making regular visits.

Agreed. That's why I'd rather "the authorities" focus on the actual bad guys, selling counterfeit merchandise, than on a bunch of college students who will some day want to get paid themselves.

In reply to the increasing number of posts that claim I'm a tool for linking "piracy" with "drug running" -- you haven't *been* to an inner-city flea market, have you? But I can see his point... the maf-IAA will make that linkage without the caveat, and extort a few thousand bucks from some suburban kid with a lot of bandwidth.

more than 3 years ago
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Goodbye, HD Component Video

RobertB-DC Re:Confused (469 comments)

So... this prevents someone copying a BD disk with a VCR? Or a TV capture card?

I'm actually confused here. Do people actually copy digital media this way any more? What does this prevent?

The only experience I've had with actual "piracy" is from my kids' friends, who don't know or care about "digital rights" or their "management". I'm very picky -- I obtained every movie and .mp3 file I have legally, because as a content generator (computer programmer) I kinda like getting paid. My kids' friends... not so much.

There was one particularly memorable experience, when my daughter's friend brought over her DVD of the "Freaky Friday" remake... the weekend after it opened in theaters. Her mom got it at the local flea market.

It was an obvious bootleg, and darn near unwatchable (even if you liked the movie). It really did look like it was the result of a guy with a cheap digital camcorder set up in the back of a movie theater, with scratchy sound patched in. It wasn't HD quality... heck, it wasn't even VHS-on-the-car-dashboard quality. But the teens thought it was great.

That's the sort of "piracy" I'd like to see the maf-IAA focusing on, because it has actual consequences for real people. Those bootleg DVDs, their little brothers the bootleg CDs, their cousins the bootleg shoes, and their close friends the stolen goods, fund the same underground economy that supports drug running and other nasty social ills.

Applying strongarm tactics there would be good for society... but probably wouldn't generate as much profit as shaking down college kids.

more than 3 years ago
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80% of Browsers Found To Be At Risk of Attack

RobertB-DC Self-selecting for failure (196 comments)

So eight out of 10 browsers running the test failed it? That's not terribly surprising, since I have to install a plugin to run the test.

I don't know Qualys from Quantas, so I'm highly unlikely to install their plugin just to find out whether my browser has vulnerabilities. In fact, I'm not terribly likely to install any plugins at all (though I'm enjoying Ghostery immensely).

Now, let's assume for a moment that I'm the type to install any plugin that asks nicely and looks shiny. Gee, is it any surprise that Qualys' plugin isn't the first one I've accepted? And is it any surprise that I've got other issues?

This test suffers from a terrible self-selection bias. Those most likely to take the "test" are the ones most likely to fail it.

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android?

RobertB-DC (oops) (178 comments)

Sorry, please apply the following to the above:

s/John Murphy/Alex Murphy/g

Though to be fair, the Wikipedia article is unclear about what the middle initial "J" stands for...

more than 3 years ago
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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android?

RobertB-DC Re:Wrong order. (178 comments)

As the user/owner of a non-self aware device, it should obey me, even if my intention is to use it to destroy itself, or others.

The problem is that this is the situation we already have. Our machines obey us, even if we have been socially engineered to instruct our machines to perform tasks that are malicious. A zombie PC damages itself, its owner, other machines, and their owners.

This application of the mythical "Three Laws" seems designed to protect us from ourselves.

Now, this is going to annoy the living crap out of me, and I will definitely want to find a way to disable the directives. Especially that Fourth Directive. Oh, sorry, I keep thinking of John Murphy's Prime Directives:

1. "Serve the public trust"
2. "Protect the innocent"
3. "Uphold the law"
4. (Classified)

more than 3 years ago
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The CIA's Amazing RC Animals From the 70s

RobertB-DC Re:And of course... (113 comments)

Was that what it was? I would have sworn I first read about the remote-controlled dragonfly in a Hardy Boy's novel, in the '70s. But I was just a kid, so it could have easily been some other Boy Genius novel.

more than 3 years ago
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'Death By GPS' Increasing In America's Wilderness

RobertB-DC Re:How to Mess with OnStar (599 comments)

West Texas?! Childress is almost in Oklahoma...

Yeah... too bad I didn't have a GPS. [/rimshot]

more than 3 years ago
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'Death By GPS' Increasing In America's Wilderness

RobertB-DC Re:How to Mess with OnStar (599 comments)

Hey, I never suggested that running out of gas in the middle of West Texas in the summer (or winter, or fall or spring for that matter) is a Good Thing, even if you've kidnapped the Gasoline Fairy and thrown her in the trunk for the trip. It's definitely up near the top of "The stupidest things RobertB has ever done."

What OnStar did in that case was rescue me from my stupidity. Which in a strictly Darwinian sense would be bad, I suppose... but from my RobertBinian perspective, not dying of heat stroke and dehydration is indeed a very Good Thing. Chances are, if I never used OnStar again, I'd keep my subscription just because of "that time that they saved my bacon."

more than 3 years ago
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'Death By GPS' Increasing In America's Wilderness

RobertB-DC Re:How to Mess with OnStar (599 comments)

Talk to the nice lady from India (or Southern California) who has never seen ice in any amount larger than a water pitcher, and tell her you're kind of lost.

No need to work that hard, just do what I did. Run out of gas in West Texas, say between Childress and Quanah. Make it on a sunny 100-degree-plus Sunday afternoon in the middle of summer. You, too, can have a conversation with OnStar like I did!

Me (sheepish): I ran out of gas.
OnStar: We'll send someone right out.

Time passes...

OnStar: Sir, we show you near Childress, Texas, but I don't have any facilities there. What's the nearest larger town?
Me: This is West Texas, Ma'm. There are no larger towns.

They ended up sending out the county sheriff with a five-gallon jug of gas.

more than 3 years ago
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Bombay High Court Rules Astrology To Be a Science

RobertB-DC Re:Equivalent to Georgia Supreme Court (478 comments)

RTFA!

Can't. The Sun is in the House of Taurus right now. Bad time for reading pertinent information. Sorry.

Don't be ignorant. The sun is in Aquarius right now, which makes it a great time to find a source of liquid entertainment. I'll take mine in the form of a Tequila Sunrise, please.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Changes Stance On Water Damage Policy

RobertB-DC Not Always Right (155 comments)

I know the cell phone companies (including Apple in this overgeneralization) are a bunch of greedy so-and-so's, but a quick perusal of the stories at (The Customer Is) NotAlwaysRight.com will show why the Water Damage excuse is rather valid.

Such as, the borderline fraudulent:

Why Contracts are a Gazillion Pages Long ...

Me: "Thats right, but there are conditions, one being that the phone cant have any liquid or physical damage. I need to check for that."

Customer: "Fine, here."

(When I open up the phone, it stinks of alcohol.)

Me: "Sorry, this smells like it has alcohol on it."

Customer: "Oh, well, I dropped it in the sink and I know you wont fix it if it has water damage, but I didnt have any ethylated spirits, so I soaked it in vodka for 2 days to dry it out."

And then, the just stupid:

Beefed-Up Technology

(I was a customer at a cell phone store, observing the following exchange.)

Employee: "Im sorry sir, but your phone has water damage, which isnt covered by the warranty. You will have to purchase a new phone."

Customer: "Thats ridiculous! I havent gotten the phone wet!"

Employee: "Have you used the phone in the rain? Sometimes, thats all it takes to get the internals wet enough to damage the device."

Customer: "Well, yes, but that doesnt make any sense! Cows are in the rain all the time and they dont die!"

Employee: "..."

Me: *interjecting* "Sir, cows arent electronic devices."

Customer: *storms out*

(Fair warning, though... My Ghostery plug-in shows a whopping 18 web-watchers on that site. No wonder it won't come up on my phone. Or maybe it's the water damage.)

more than 3 years ago
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PlentyofFish Hacked, Founder Emails Hacker's Mom

RobertB-DC Password in plaintext email (367 comments)

I was on the site for a while. It was always slightly clunky, but I'd prefer a free, one-man labor of love to a buy-in site that basically tries to promise sex for money. It was particularly helpful in helping me discover that I wasn't as bad as most of the creeps out there... and conversely, creepiness doesn't belong exclusively to those of the male persuasion. That was good to know -- it helped me realize that I need to be picky. (And my pickiness was rewarded many times over when I found my fiancee. In my Sunday School class).

But on the tech side, it irritated the living crap outta me that POF would send me a weekly e-mail with my password IN PLAIN TEXT. Every week, just as a reminder of how easy it would be to log in. Yeah, easy for *anyone* to log in as me and, if I were foolish enough to put important information on POF, to mess with my life. And, of course, if I were foolish enough to use that password for my bank account... well, I think anyone on this site knows the rest.

So I'm not at all surprised that someone found a way to hack POF. Sending a password in plaintext is bad, but not uncommon. Heck, T-Mobile does it. But sending it every week, unsolicited? I'm sorry to be rude, but that's just stupid.

more than 3 years ago
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Malaysia Releases Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

RobertB-DC Comments funny, Dengue serious (140 comments)

I know the comments so far follow the easy pattern -- either "what could possibly go wrong, lol" and "doesn't evolution kinda favor *longer* lives?" And I'm not entirely comfortable with human populations being used as guinea pigs for disease research -- cf. Tuskeegee et. al.

But Dengue Fever is some serious stuff. It's called "break-bone fever" for a reason -- the muscle and joint pain is debilitating, and lasts for weeks or months. It's one of those things that keeps poor communities impoverished -- each person infected requires care-giving, taking two or three healthy people out of the economy for every one infected.

There's no vaccine, and nothing on the way until 2015 at least -- like many tropical diseases, there's more money to be made from lengthening a rich white guy's m@nh00d than there is in lengthening a poor brown woman's life.

So as leery as I am of making random modifications to the DNA of an uncontrollable pest... I can at least understand the motivation.

more than 3 years ago
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Bomb Detecting Plants To Root Out Terrorists

RobertB-DC "For TSA Use Only" (55 comments)

Awesome idea, and I'd love for a minefield in the spring to look like beautiful-but-deadly Warhol painting.

But I really don't like one aspect of the plants that my tax dollars are paying for. From TFA:

Homeland Security agents are interested in adaptations so that only agents using infrared technology could see plant color changes, Bauer said.

If the plants are going to detect things that blow up, wouldn't it be a Good Thing for us average citizens to be able to use them? Allowing civilians to become projectile-absorbing materials is something terrorists do... not letting us know that we're walking past a dangerous area seems hardly better.

Oh, but the true purpose becomes clear:

Another possibility: Police could use the plants to enforce drug prohibitions, Bauer said. "Such sentinels," he said, "could be very inexpensive."

They're NOT developing this in order to make us safer. There are very few landmines on US soil, after all (though Civil War battlefields might resemble a game of Pac-Man). They're just trying to find a cheap way to put more potheads in prison, so they can learn how to be real criminals. (Damned if I can figure out how that makes me more secure... guess I should just let Big Brother do my thinking for me.)

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Worlds Oldest Pr0n Found in Germany

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 5 years ago

RobertB-DC writes ""Nothing has changed in 40,000 years" was what one researcher said about the discovery of a female figurine in a cave in southwestern Germany. There's no doubt about its gender; it has a Dolly Parton (or Pamela Anderson, if you prefer) figure, as well as other "exaggerated sexual characteristics" that might not be appropriate to discuss in polite company. And the prehistoric pinup is intentionally headless, proving that even before the mammoths went extinct, he wasn't looking at her eyes."
Link to Original Source
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Mars Phoenix Ovens Destined to Fail

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  about 6 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "The Phoenix mission to Mars' frigid polar regions was going to be tricky from the start, with only a few weeks to perform as much science as possible. Success depended on everything working right. But one of the mission's most frustrating glitches, the stuck doors on the TEGA ovens, could have been prevented with basic quality control on Earth. Nature is reporting that bad brackets were replaced by the manufacturer... with identically bad brackets. The Planetary Society blog sums it up succinctly: 'Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.'"
Link to Original Source
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CueCat Patent Granted, Finally

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "Who could forget the :CueCat, the amazing device that would bring "convergence" between the real world and the online marketing Utopia of the late '90s? Belo, the Dallas-based newspaper and TV conglomerate, spent millions of dollars on the project, only to be ridiculed from the start and eventually becoming a sort of poster kitty for the Dot-Com Bust. Well, the device's inventor and chief cheerleader, J. Jovan Philyaw, didn't forget. His patent application, in progress since 1998, has finally been granted. The story comes from a Dallas alternative weekly, since the local Belo paper is still smarting from its $40-million-dollar black eye."
Link to Original Source
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Texas IT Outsourcing Leads to Lost Data

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "Texas took the lead in outsourcing state agencies' IT operations, awarding a $863 million, seven-year contract to IBM. The results: widespread outages, constant backup failures, and a server crash that destroyed eight months' worth of data in a fraud probe by the Attorney General's office. While IBM says "We take all of this very seriously," Texas officials say "I don't feel like we're getting the emphasis that we need in customer satisfaction. I'm almost to the point of believing that IBM doesn't understand the term." And just today, Gov. Rick Perry suspended IBM's contract pending an assessment of the situation."
Link to Original Source
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Radio Interference Pits 911 Against Landscaping

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "Five Dallas suburbs are duking it out over who gets to use a chunk of the radio spectrum, and the FCC has been called in to mediate the dispute. Two affluent suburbs had been using the frequencies for water tower monitoring and landscaping control. But when the grass started turning brown in city parks, they learned that three suburbs on the other side of town had just installed new police communications equipment that was blocking their sprinkler systems."
Link to Original Source
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Texas Legislator Wants to Ban Prepaid Cellphones

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "Citing concerns about "transnational gangs", a state legislator from Dallas plans to introduce legislation that would ban purchase of a cell phone without identification. State Sen. John Carona (R) said in a news conference at Dallas police headquarters that these gangs are using prepaid cellphones to organize their criminal activities, and therefore police need the ability to "trace conversations and determine ownership" in ways that are not currently possible."
Link to Original Source
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Web-based Anonymizer Discontinued

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "With no fanfare, and apparently no outcry from the privacy community, Anonymizer Inc. discontinued its web-based Private Surfing service effective June 20, 2007. No reason was given, either on the Anonymizer web site or on founder Lance Cottrell's privacy blog. Private Surfing customers are now required to download a anonymizing client that handles all TCP traffic, but the program is Windows-only (with Vista support still a work-in-progress). And of course it's closed-source, which means it has few advantages over several other alternatives."
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Death Notice on Wikipedia Before Body Found

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "A popular WWE wrestler's Wikipedia entry was edited to include his wife's death. 14 hours later, the bodies of Chris Benoit, his wife, and their son were found, apparent victims of a murder-suicide. Authorities want to know who updated the Wikipedia entry, since the IP address associated with the change is registered in Stamford, Connecticut, where WWE is headquartered. Of course, the incident is also a clear violation of Wikipedia's "no original research" rule."
Link to Original Source
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RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 8 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "A British researcher has drawn on sources from the CIA to the WHO to assemble the World Map of Happiness, a "global projection of subjective well-being". The researchers found strong correlations between "happiness" and wealth, health, and education. Congratulations, Denmark — you're the happiest country on Earth! On the other side of the pond, Canada made the Top Ten, while the USA just missed the Top 20."
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RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 8 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "While the rest of the world was watching Space Shuttle Atlantis dock with the International Space Station, the Chinese space agency was sending 474 pounds of seeds and fungi into orbit. The craft is due to return to earth in two weeks. Mission planners may be setting themselves up for an Ig Nobel prize, though, for the mission's stated goal: 'Chinese officials contend that seeds exposed to space radiation and microgravity contain more vitamins and other crucial minerals.'"
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RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 8 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "Astronauts on Space Shuttle Atlantis are "camping out", assumably sans campfire, prior to tomorrow's spacewalk to install the massive P3/P4 truss onto the International Space Station. Instead of spending valuable waking hours decompressing to 4.3 PSI, or spending equally valuable energy exercising the nitrogen out of their blood, Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper will spend the "night" camped out in an airlock. The astronauts have no time to lose — they've already foregone the usual day off after docking, beginning the unloading process before even officially saying hello."
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RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 8 years ago

RobertB-DC writes "While some librarians are fighting for individual rights, others appear to be welcoming Big Brother with open arms. In suburban Dallas, a library patron requesting Internet access was given a choice, of sorts: Censored, or Extra Censored. One filters out "obscenity only", while the other filters out both "obscenity" and "material considered to be unlawful". As a helpful aside, the library's Internet policy acknowledgement form notes that both terms "are defined by the Texas Penal Code". The librarian's reaction to his request for "No Censorship" would be funny, if it weren't so telling."

Journals

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Ghost Article: Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 4 years ago

This ungrammatical ghost (either "win shakes" or "wins shake" would have been correct) was a clear duplicate of another story, so I knew it was doomed when I saw it.

Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality
Date: 11/04/2010
Original link: http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/11/04/1544211
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the tea-shake dept.

GovTechGuy found a story discussing the Republican and Tea Party congressional wins and what that means for Net Neutrality. Apparently most of the dems who signed the net neutrality pledge last week are now looking for work.

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Ghost Article: BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 4 years ago

My guess is that this Monday-morning submission turned out to be a duplicate of something that came in over the weekend. But I haven't had a chance to check.

BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses
Date: 09/20/2010
Original link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/09/20/1525220
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the thats-just-marketing dept.

superapecommando noted that Glyn Moody reckons
"The IDC numbers turn out to be reasonable enough, the conclusions drawn from them are not. Reducing software piracy will not magically conjure up those hundreds of billions of dollars of economic growth that the BSA invokes, or create huge numbers of new jobs: it will simply move the money around â" in fact, it will send more of it outside local economies to the US, and reduce the local employment. And it certainly won't do anything to ameliorate the quotidian problems of poorly-written software..."

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Ghost Article: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I was expecting this one to resurface -- it disappeared right about the time Slashdot posted a big political story -- but it hasn't come back yet. I'm guessing it's a dupe of a story over the weekend, but I haven't had time to go searching.

Your Rights Online: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6
Date: 08/02/2010
Orig link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/08/02/169202
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-plan-guys dept.

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes
"The UK government has said it will not upgrade its departments computers from Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 because it would not be 'cost-effective'. A recent online petition posted to Number10.gov.uk received 6,223 signatures that called for the 'Prime Minister to encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6' due to its alleged vulnerability to attack, and because it requires web developers to specially craft sites to support the browser. This raises the question, what is the cost of an upgrade compared to a massive security breach?"

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Ghost Article: Black Hat Talk On China Cyber Army Pulled

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 4 years ago

This one was funny -- it was in red on the front page at the same time as the article that eventually posted for real, Talk On Chinese Cyber Army Pulled From Black Hat. Oops!

Black Hat Talk On China Cyber Army Pulled
Date: 07/15/2010
Orig link: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/07/15/1529241
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the nobody-ever-talks-about-the-purple-hats dept.

itwbennett writes
"A talk that would have given conference attendees a unique profile of China's secretive government-sponsored hacking efforts has been pulled from the Black Hat schedule. Wayne Huang, one of the presenters of the talk and CTO with Taiwanese security vendor Armorize, said that he decided to pull the talk after vetting it with several organizations that had contributed intelligence and getting pressure from several places, both in Taiwan and in China. Huang wouldn't say who complained or why, but he said that by pulling the talk Armorize will be able to maintain its good relations with the Asian security community. 'We ran the materials by some key people and they were not happy with it,' he said."

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Ghost Article: Man HIV-Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 4 years ago

The first Ghost Article in many, many months shows some strange behind-the-scenes SlashCode action. When I reload the original page URL, I get the generic "Nothing to see here, move along". But when I click on the "title" link, the one in the header before the comments section, the page that results has the full article title. It's not just echoing the text in the URL, either... otherwise it would say "Man HIV Free" instead of "Man HIV-Free". That implies that the ghost is still in the database... somewhere.

Man HIV-Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment
Date: 26 Feb 2010
Orig link: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/26/1637249
Title link: http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/02/26/1637249/Man-HIV-Free-2-Years-After-Stem-Cell-Treatment
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-genes dept.

kkleiner writes

"According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a stem cell transplant performed in Germany has unexpectedly removed all signs of HIV from a 42-year-old American patient. The unnamed white male was treated two years ago for leukemia with a dose of donor stem cells, and his HIV RNA count has dropped to zero and remained there since. While the treatment was for leukemia, Dr. Gero Hutter and colleagues at the Charite Universitatsmedizen in Berlin had selected the stem cell donor for his HIV-resistant genes. While there are still many questions unanswered, this is the first such case of stem cells treating HIV that has been reported in a publication of the caliber of the NEJM."

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Ghost Article: The Long Term Impact of Jacobsen v. Katzer

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sorry, no time for fancy formatting. Here's the article... I don't keep up with the topic, so I don't know why it got yanked. Here's the link, in case it comes back: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/16/1945246 Enjoy!

The Long Term Impact of Jacobsen v. Katzer
Posted by timothy in The Mysterious Future!
from the stabs-in-the-dark dept.

snydeq (http://www.infoworld.com/) writes
"Lawyer Jonathan Moskin has called into question the long-term impact (http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source/does-court-ruling-raise-risks-open-source-687) last year's Java Model Railroad Interface court ruling will have on open source adoption among corporate entities. For many, the case in question, Jacobsen v. Katzer (http://jmri.sourceforge.net/k/docket/index.shtml), has represented a boon for open source, laying down a legal foundation for the protection of open source developers (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/03/1447248&tid=185). But as Moskin sees it, the ruling 'enables a set of potentially onerous monetary remedies for failures to comply with even modest license terms, and it subjects a potentially larger community of intellectual property users to liability (http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/pubArticleLT.jsp?id=1202429618746).' In other words, in Moskin's eyes, Jacobsen v. Katzer could make firms wary of using open source software because they fear that someone in the food chain has violated a copyright, thus exposing them to lawsuit. It should be noted that Moskin's firm has represented Microsoft in anti-trust litigation before the European Union."

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Ghost Article: First Picture of an Alien Solar System

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 11/13/2008
[This looked like an awesome story, and it's a new discovery, so I wondered why it got yanked. Turned out there was an even more awesome version in the pipeline, that referenced not one but two extraterrestrial systems being imaged, and threw in a jab at the Hubble to boot. Plus, this story linked to a page on the KeckObservatory.org site that doesn't have any actual content (perhaps it was about to get Slashdotted and they blanked it to avoid meltdown?).]

First Picture of an Alien Solar System
Posted by ScuttleMonkey in The Mysterious Future!
from the say-cheese dept.

dtolman writes

"Astronomers at the Keck Observatory have announced that they have taken the first image of an alien solar system. 'The new solar system orbits the dusty young star named HR8799, which is 140 light years away and about 1.5 times the size of our sun. Three planets, roughly 10, 9 and 6 times the mass of Jupiter, orbit the star. The sizes of the planets decrease with distance from the parent star, much like the giant planets do in our system.'"

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! And it's not the same as seeing an article come close-but-not-close-enough on the Firehose. These stories were accepted, posted on the front page for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

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Ghost Article: Antitrust Working For Samba and FSFE

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 10/24/2008
[Finally, I think this one will *stay* dead! No idea what it's all about, or why it didn't stay on the front page. Probably a dupe, but it's far enough outside my sphere of knowledge that I wouldn't know exactly what to search on. And, I have to admit, I'm not interested enough to find out...]

Antitrust Working For Samba and FSFE
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the in-an-ideal-world dept.

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes

"It's now just over a year since Microsoft lost their final court case in the EU regarding breaches of antitrust regulation. Samba developer Andrew Bartlet writes in his blog that the documentation and help MS was forced to deliver is proving truly useful: '[T]he bottleneck is our own pace of implementation and comprehension, not missing documentation or the difficult task of network analysis so often required in the past.' FSFE blogger Ciaran O'Riordan also explains the motivations for those years of work. Hint: it wasn't about fines."

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! And it's not the same as seeing an article come close-but-not-close-enough on the Firehose. These stories were accepted, posted on the front page for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

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Ghost Article: Recovering Blurred Text Using Photoshop

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 10/08/2008
[They're rarer, but sometimes the ghosts still make it to red-link front page status before they're hosed away. Not sure why this one got doused, but I suspect it's a dupe.]

Recovering Blurred Text Using Photoshop
Posted by Timothy in The Mysterious Future!
from the careful-how-you-hide-stuff dept.

An anonymous reader writes

"There's been a lot of talk about recovering blurred or pixelated text, but here's an actual implementation using nothing but Photoshop and a little JavaScript. Includes a Hollywood-esque video showing the uncovered letters slowly appearing."

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! And it's not the same as seeing an article come close-but-not-close-enough on the Firehose. These stories were accepted, posted on the front page for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

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Ghost Article: ISS Threatened by War in The Caucuses

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 08/20/2008
[Wow, it's been forever! But I finally caught one. I was going to send a note to the DaddyPants address warning them that this was a dupe, but I couldn't find the article it was a duplicate *of*. Someone did, though. Oh, and it's "Caucasus", not "Caucuses". It's Georgia, not Iowa.]

ISS Threatened by War in The Caucuses
Journal written by Presto Vivace (882157) and posted by samzenpus in The Mysterious Future!
from the no-space-for-you dept.

According to this report in the Washington Post, the ISS program could become a casualty of the war in the Caucuses. Our current space shuttle craft will be retired in 2010, with no replacements until 2015. In the meantime, in order for NASA to contract with Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, Congress would have to pass a waiver to a 2000 law forbidding government contracts with nations that help Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs, as Russia has done. Even before the war in the Caucuses this was controversial, now the ISS mission is at great risk. It would be a shame if the ISS mission were jeopardized over this, a real shame.

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! These stories were accepted, posted for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

By the way, any Subscriber can join the Ghost Hunt, but so far only morcheeba has shown the requisite sensitivity to ectoplasmic vibrations.

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The Ghost Hunt is back on!

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Not that it's an earth-shattering development -- I'm not creating miniature black holes or anything, but I did re-up my Slashdot subscription.

The first potential ghost article: Engineers Make Good Terrorists?. I don't think that one will get canned! Though it sure seems like a leftover April Fool's gag. Sadly, it's not... the source article is dated 4/3, not 4/1. Of course, the past seven-and-a-half years have been an extended April Fool's Day... but on the bright side, there are only 9 months 19 days 17 hours 3 minutes before the foolishness finally ends.

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Ghost Detector currently broken

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I haven't been able to take my usual peek behind the curtain of Slashdot, because my subscription has lapsed and I haven't been able to renew it. Woe is me!

I'm sure I'll get around to it again sometime soon. Heck, it's not like five or ten bucks will make the rent check bounce. But it would buy a used GameCube game for the little gamerz at home. If anyone wants to finance my ghost hunting exploits, please feel free... clicky the linky above and pop "622190" into the "Buy Gift Subscription For" box. I'm certain to think very fondly of you for at least five minutes.

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Ghost Article: Replacing Copper With Pencil Graphite

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Again, no formatting, just saving the story and links. This article got pulled because it's a dupe of one from several weeks back, maybe even a few months ago. I remember seeing it; it may have been this February article on Graphene Transistors, but I thought it was more recent than that.

Edit: The article has been restored. I guess the previous article was way back in February, so this one adds useful information.

Science: Replacing Copper With Pencil Graphite
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the carbon-all-the-way-down dept.
Late-Eight writes
"A key discovery at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could help advance the role of graphene as a possible heir to copper and silicon in nanoelectronics. Researchers believe graphene's extremely efficient conductive properties can be exploited for use in nanoelectronics. Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon, eluded scientists for years but was finally made in the laboratory in 2004 with the help of everyday, store-bought transparent tape. The current research, which shows a way to control the conductivity of graphene, is an important first step towards mass producing metallic graphene that could one day replace copper as the primary interconnect material on nearly all computer chips."
Researchers are now hot to pursue graphene for this purpose over the previous favorite candidate, buckytubes (which are just rolled-up graphene). Farther down the road, semiconducting graphene might take over from silicon at the heart of logic chips.

Links:
Story: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/24/2123225
Submitter: http://www.shellscript.co.uk/
"graphene as a possible heir to copper and silicon in nanoelectronics": http://www.physorg.com/news104473084.html

(By the way, it's strange that I can't get a Science icon. I went for the Sci-Fi icon instead, for lack of anything more appropriate.)

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Ghost Article: MacBook Hacked in Security Contest

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I'm going to try the rapid-response, no-formatting method again.

MacBook Hacked in Security Contest
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the caught-with-your-pants-down dept.
TheCybernator writes
"Macaulay, a software engineer, was able to hack into a MacBook through a zero-day security hole in Apple's Safari browser. The computer was one of two offered as a prize in the "PWN to Own" hack-a-Mac contest at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver. The successful attack on the second and final day of the contest required a conference organizer to surf to a malicious website using Safari on the MacBook -- a type of attack familiar to Windows users. CanSecWest organizers relaxed the rules Friday after nobody at the event had breached either of the Macs on the previous day."

Links:

Story: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/23/1457220
hack into a MacBook: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39286793,00.htm

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Ghost Article: "Smart Dust" to Explore Planets

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm too tired today to add the fancy formatting, sorry. I've got two other ghosts from last month sitting on my hard drive, and I don't want this one to join them for fear of ectoplasmic overload, or something. So here's the basics:

Science: "Smart Dust" to Explore Planets
Posted by ScuttleMonkey in The Mysterious Future!
from the new-but-not dept.
Ollabelle writes
"The BBC is reporting how tiny chips with flexible skins could be used to glide through a planet's atmosphere in swarms to gather data and report back. 'The idea of using millimetre-sized devices to explore far-flung locations is nothing new, but Dr Barker and his colleagues are starting to look in detail at how it might be achieved. The professor at Glasgow's Nanoelectronics Research Centre told delegates at the Royal Astronomical Society gathering that computer chips of the size and sophistication required to meet the challenge already existed.'"

Links: tiny chips with flexible skins

Article link: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/18/1925206

Update: Good thing I didn't go to all that trouble, because the article was only playing dead. It went to "Nothing to see here", but remained in red on the front page and eventually went live.

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Ghost Article: Argh! I missed it!

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I can't believe I missed it. I had a ghost slip right through my fingers!

When I came to work, I fired up my list of morning bookmarks. After checking email and half a dozen news and message boards, I got around to Slashdot. I ctl-shift-clicked the two red links and went on to read another dozen or so sites, and even went and got some work done.

When I happened to click the Slashdot links in another window, I saw "Nothing to see here. Please move along." Yikes! That meant that between when I first fired up the browser and when I shift-ctl-clicked, the article met its untimely (or perhaps just-in-timely) demise.

But there's nothing left of the ghost. I'd already gone on to read other Slashdot articles, and Opera 9 no longer seems to keep cached versions of pages -- when you hit "Back", it reloads with the current version.

I don't even know the original title of the article. All I have is the URL... like a feeling of cold in a creaky old house on a warm summer night.

Rest in peace, http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl? sid=07/03/06/1227222

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Ghost Article: The Radical OLPC Security System

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 02/08/2007
[This is the second ghost in two days, but this time it's likely to stay dead. It's a dupe of yesterday's OLPC security article -- which was still on the front page.]

The Radical OLPC Security System
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the tighter-than-yours dept.

CHaN_316 recommends a Wired article about the One Laptop Per Child project entitled "High Security for $100 Laptop":

"The laptop... will premiere a security system that takes a radical approach to computer protection. Krstic's system, known as the BitFrost platform, imposes limits on every program's powers. Every program runs in its own virtual machine with a limited set of permissions... Krstic contrasts this approach to Microsoft's Windows XP where every program, including Solitaire, has the right to access the web, turn on the video camera, open spreadsheets and send e-mail... 'This kind of model makes it more difficult for glue between applications to be built,' Krstic said. 'But 99 percent don't need glue.'"

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! These stories were accepted, posted for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

By the way, any Subscriber can join the Ghost Hunt, but so far only morcheeba has shown the requisite sensitivity to ectoplasmic vibrations.

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Ghost Article: Ogg Vorbis Gaining Industry Support

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 02/06/2007
[Wow, it's been a ghost-free new year up until now. Kinda dead, you know. (groan) But here's one, though it may come back from the dead -- I suspect it got pushed from the front page in favor of the news of the DNS Root Server attack. The DNS story is also posted by "kdawson" who, oddly, doesn't have a link for his/her name -- perhaps it's this one? :) ]

Ogg Vorbis Gaining Industry Support
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the chicken-or-the-ogg dept.

An anonymous reader writes

"While Ogg Vorbis format has not gained much adoption in music sales and portable players, it is not an unsupported format in the industry. Toy manufacturers (e.g. speaking dolls), voice warning systems, and reactive audio devices exploit Ogg Vorbis for its good quality at small bit-rates. As a sign of this, VLSI Solution Oy has just announced VS1000, the first 16 bits DSP device for playing Ogg Vorbis on low-power and high-volume products. Earlier Ogg Vorbis chips use 32 bits for decoding, which consumes more energy than a 16-bit device does. See the Xiph wiki page for a list of Ogg Vorbis chips."

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! These stories were accepted, posted for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

By the way, any Subscriber can join the Ghost Hunt, but so far only morcheeba has shown the requisite sensitivity to ectoplasmic vibrations.

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New Madrid Fault Mostly Harmless?

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 7 years ago

In the early 1800s, sparsely populated southwestern Missouri was shaken by the largest earthquake recorded in the continental US: the New Madrid Earthquake, estimated at an 8.0 on the Richter scale. Since then, cities along the Mississippi River from Memphis to St. Louis have wondered when the next one would hit. Maybe never, say researchers at Northwestern University. The rock deep underground is cold and dead, and 1812 may have been the fault's dying gasp.

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Ghost Article: Mac OS X Market Share Declining?

RobertB-DC RobertB-DC writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Ghosts of Slashdot: 10/02/2006
[Halloween month begins with a ghost sighting. Sucks that I don't know enough about the Mac world to know why it was banished. Maybe another editor saw "A research conducted by..." and reflexively hit the "kill" button. Update: Yaz found the original article from two weeks ago -- it's a dupe after all. Good catch by somebody in the Mac world. And as Kalak noted, it leaned towards the FUD side anyway.]

Mac OS X Market Share Declining?
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the more-for-me dept.

tommm writes

"A research conducted by Net Applications suggests that Mac OS X market share has declined compared to last year. From the article: "With the way things are going, is that even possible? Well, according to Net Applications, it sure is. While OS X appeared to be having a small increase in usage during the later part of last year, the numbers show that OS X market share fell from 4.35 percent in December 2005 to 4.33 percent in August 2006, and that figure includes the usage of Mac Intel machines. If you subtracted the increase in that area, then you'd actually be left with a lower number that would sit right at 3.71 percent."

What are the Ghosts of Slashdot?
As a Slashdot Subscriber, I get to see stories before they're posted to the general public. This means that I get to see the mistakes -- the articles that almost made it, but got sent to the cutting room floor at the last minute. They become the Ghosts of Slashdot, a URL that points to nothing.

Note that this is NOT the same as whining about article submissions that didn't get accepted! These stories were accepted, posted for subscribers, and then pulled from the site. Their brief existence gives us a glimpse into the Slashdot post-submission process, for those who are interested in what's going on behind the curtain.

By the way, any Subscriber can join the Ghost Hunt, but so far only morcheeba has shown the requisite sensitivity to ectoplasmic vibrations.

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