asadodetira writes ""One simple equation can generate a vast diversity of natural shapes, a Belgian biologist has discovered. Nature has the story. "The Superformula" sounds impressive, apparently its only for shapes, i thought you could solve lots of PDE's or tensor integrals or something with this, but not, it's only for shapes."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader submits: "Joe Barillari, a computer science student studying under Prof. Ed Felten, posted an analysis on his blog of the lawsuit filed by the RIAA against a Princeton college student for running "Napster-like" networks. He argues that the case doesn't quite live up to its contributory infringement claim due to limitations in the DMCA. A good read!"
Saqib Ali asks: "Nowadays, WebDAV (Web based Distributed Authoring and Version) is becoming very common in large corporations. We are also adopting WebDAV for file sharing. All the major operating systems support WebDAV, however I was wondering if there is any support for WebDAV on PDAs. I think lots of people will be interested in WebDAV support for PDAs. Does anyone know of a WebDAV client for PDAs? Especially for Pocket PCs, since they have Pocket Word and Excel? If not, I would be interested in starting a Open Source project for implementing this. Any good ideas on how/where to start?"
LosManos asks: "A call for help to the Everyday Heroes that are out there: I have just returned from a 4 months scientific expedition to some of the more remote parts of the South Pacific. As soon as people we met found out that I was a computer guy they asked me to help them and all to often I had to reply that I didn't have the tools.This got me thinking; what should a software toolbox consist of? OS, patches, digital books, compilers, sniffers, servers, harddisk restore apps...? Please remember that the computers I met where often old and slow. The answers to this could be interesting also when you are not several days away from nearest inhabited island. I mean, what is it that most often break? How is it usually fixed? Are more fancy solutions more error prone?" If you were to create a "first aid kit" consisting of CDs, disks, books and other technical utilities you have used to resurrect dead systems, what would you put in it?
numbski asks: "As a systems administrator, I find myself moving from machine to machine to machine on a daily basis. I happen to be a FreeBSD/MacOS X nut, so on a given day I move from my 17" iMac at home, to my 12" Powerbook at work, to any one of my 16 FreeBSD Servers. That's not to mention any of the Win2k Servers that have Cygwin loaded. All of that said, there is a longing in me to have a simple $HOME that all of my systems use and understand. I've considered the Knoppix way of dealing with this problem using a USB key device from this previous Slashdot article, however I don't know how many systems I could get away with consistently having my USB device picked up and used correctly without scripting changes to fstab, not to mention the issue of choosing a filesystem that just about every OS will recognize: FAT32. Windows is going to be unhappy no matter what I'm afraid, as it doesn't understand symlinking. c:\Documents and Settings\$USER can't just be moved off to another volume. The one glimmer of hope I have is this article on ftpfs and webdavfs. Using these one should be able to set up a single, persistent home that follows you from machine to machine over the internet. I guess I would like to know how others have gone about setting up a mobile $HOME. I look forward to having all of my preferences, dotfiles, and bookmarks follow me around."
An anonymous reader writes "LinuxDevices.com reports that Microsoft has licensed InterVideo Inc. to supply Windows Media Technology to makers of Linux-based consumer devices. Under the agreement, InterVideo is licensed to take the components of the Windows Media Format, port them to Linux, and provide them to manufacturers who are interested in running Windows Media Technology on Linux-based consumer devices such as set-top boxes, personal video recorders, and other hybrid multimedia devices."
adelayde writes "You're a wireless network engineer and you work on the run. You need a kit that gives you flexibily yet is light and portable. Style is also important to you. This article (mirrored here) describes just the kit you need, based on modifying the Apple AirPort base station with suggestions for a range of handy antenna attachments and includes component part numbers and prices as well as a complete set of range test results. Just the Jobs for the wireless engineer on the go." Update: 04/08 00:06 GMT by T : Here's another mirror, thanks to the story submitter ;)
GamerGeek asks: "I work for a small company in the Midwest. We have some old products written in Databus / PL/B. In my spare time I have been investigating the idea of rewriting these programs in Java. My main problem is that the programs store data in ISAM (Indexed Sequential Access Method) files. Rewriting everything all at once is not feasible so the data needs to stay in the ISAM files. I am looking for a 100% java solution for reading and updating ISAM files. A Google search does not turn up anything. Is there one out there? Does anyone know the file format / process for reading an ISAM file? I would be willing to write a package myself if I had that information and open source it too."
Anonymous Coward writes "Onlamp.com publishes the sixth paper of Emmanuel Dreyfus's series on NetBSD's IRIX binary compatibility implementation. This time, this is about reverse engineering IRIX multithreading and the odd virtual memory features involved with it. It's an adventure at kernel and userland boundaries, with a debugger as the sole weapon. A must read!"
An anonymous reader submits: "Digital Defense reported a remote root vulnerability in Samba that has existed in Samba source code for over 8 years. If it hadn't been caught from a wild packet capture, who knows how many more years it might have gone on. Fixes for this, and at least three other vulnerabilities have been fixed today. This is a serious threat to many thousands of people.. Did you plan to spend your Monday upgrading to Samba 2.2.8a?" elijahao supplies some more information: "All stable versions are affected (2.x), but the 3.0 series is not. Here is a link to the News page. Check out a mirror near you to get the Source or Security patches from 2.2.7a, 2.2.8, or 2.0.10."
Bamafan77 writes "USAToday has a pretty interesting read on Joseph DiRisi and how his viral gene chip (a slide that hold large arrays of genetic material)helped id the cause of the SARS outbreak. Gene Chips (or more properly, microarrays) are an interesting a multidisciplinary application of programming, biology, and hardware."
simpl3x writes "Symbian is apparently going to open source their Basic-like development language used on the Psion platform. Here is a link via the Register. Interesting things seem to be happening in the mobile space, and although Psion had some very nice technology, they never seemed to get anywhere in the U.S. Any comments on developing for Psion, or Symbian for that matter? I am interested in the development environments people prefer."
Stormalong writes "This article describes research into using diamonds as room-temperature superconductors. If successful, perhaps one day you could give your love a diamond engagement CPU instead of a ring!"