Gabor Szabo writes "For anyone interested in Perl, Yet Another Perl Conference is coming to Haifa, Israel on May 11th. Registration is now open. Though the schedule is not final yet the list of presentations is already finished. There are going to be a quite some excellent presentations including Perl and .NET. This is a great way to get involved in the Perl community."
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Fifster asks: "Has anyone noticed any trends in terms of printer quality nowadays? Perhaps it's just me being nostalgic, but I used to have an old HP Deskjet 500 maybe...ten years ago, and it worked for years. Sure, it wasn't colour, and it was noisy and somewhat slow, but it never died. After I decided to retire it and buy a fancy new colour printer with features I don't really need, I've gone through about a printer a year. I finally decided to get a Brother HL-1440 laser printer to avoid the cost of cartridges after my last HP died after I replaced an expensive cartridge. Has anyone else noticed this trend of poorer and poorer quality printers, at least in terms of life expectancy?"
Runnin_Rob writes "CNET Nets.com is reporting that Sun is likely (not definite, but likely) to start using AMD's Opteron in the near future. The article also discusses how Linux is pushing for greater acceptability of Solaris x86 because 'All of the sudden it is OK to (put) something other than Windows.'"
chuckpeters writes "Vesta, the only asteroid that can be seen by the naked eye will be visible over the next week. Vesta was the fourth asteroid to be discovered and is the second largest. It is in the constellation Virgo and has just passed opposition. Vesta has very large, circular crater near the asteroid's south pole that is so deep it exposes the mantle. The asteroid appears to have differentiated into layers like the planets."
Cooper Stevenson writes "Oregon's Open Source Bill HB 2892 made it through the first General Government Committee hearing and is now scheduled for a work session. From here the committee will vote on the bill and, if it passes, will go to the Ways and Means Committee where it is expected to pass to the House floor for a vote. You may find the audio feed and the opponent's written testimony here. We are scanning and posting written testimony (especially the proponents for which there is plenty) as quickly as possible so check back in periodically."
Slashback is packed tonight with updates and clarifications on several fronts: read on below for, among other things, BitTorrent download stats after the recent Red Hat 9 release, the BSA's questionable statistical methods when it comes to calculating incentives and losses in the source-secret software world, and (can you believe?) yet another way to assemble an eerie pulsing light fixture.
Uosdwis writes "The New York Times (FRYYY) has an article about SIRTF, the fourth and last 'Great Observatory'. It is a Space based Infra Red Telescope Facility which will extend the work of The Hubble telescope, The Compton Gamma Ray telescope and The Chandra X-Ray telescope. SIRTF is quite an amazing project using new ideas such as an Earth Trailing starting from an L1 orbit, and cooling only the intruments. Saved tax payers over $1 billion in redesigns. Check it out!"
sjanich writes "A discussion has begun at SAGE on an updated title to replace "Systems Administrator". I figure more sysadmins are reading Slashdot than are reading SAGEwire. Rob Kolstad of SAGE wrote: 'What in the world do we call the collective group of those people who make computers work properly? I'm not talking about users, and I'm not talking about software developers. I am thinking of: system administrators, LAN administrators, network administrators (both kinds!), security administrators, e-mail administrators, desktop support groups, database administrators, and all the other kinds of support that keep the IT function of an institution running -- what is this huge group called?' My favorite options are "Computer Infrastructure Practitioner" or "Computer Infrastructure Specialist". The original discussion can be found here at SAGEwire."
Bamf writes "In the past few days a lot of brand new Mars data was released. The Mars Global Surveyor Camera released 11,664 new images (123,800 released to date), and the THEMIS instrument aboard Odyssey released 8,761 new infrared and visible light images (20,010 released to date). For the short attention span crowd, there's new captioned images here and here. Last month, every superhero's favorite instrument, the Gamma Ray Spectrometer, released element maps of iron, potassium, thorium and silicon, as well as a map of polar hydrogen."
egoff writes "The China Search Alliance is a coalition of over 200 Chinese internet portals that have joined together to try to capture the Chinese search market before Google can "invade." Started by China.com.cn, an official government portal, the CSA has now expanded to include mainly commercial, non-governmental, Chinese sites. According to Guangzhou-based New Express News, Google has already approached several Chinese firms about forming a partnership. Being that it started in the government, this looks like a tool for greater control while appearing to be in open competition with Google."
An anonymous reader writes "Brian Vincent of Wine Weekly News fame has started a new series of interviews with the Wine developers, over at the newly redesigned WineHQ site. The first interview features Über-hacker Ove Kåven, while the second one (hot off the press) features long-time Wine hacker Dimitrie O. Paun. Cheese anyone?"
An anonymous reader writes "The 802.16a standard, approved in January of this year, is a wireless metropolitan area network technology that will connect 802.11 hot spots to the Internet and provide a wireless extension to cable and DSL for last mile broadband access. It provides up to 50-kilometers of range and allows users to get broadband connectivity without needing a direct line of sight with the base station. The wireless broadband technology also provides shared data rates up to 70-Mbit/s."
shades6666 writes "BBC news is reporting that Tonight's Menu Intelligent Ovens has developed a refrigerated microwave that can be controlled over the net or by mobile phone. The prototype uses a Peltier cooling device. It expects the appliances to be ready by the end of the year, costing around $2,000."