First time accepted submitter Jagungal writes "Although the core Xen hypervisor has always been open source from the start, Citrix have now released the next version of their XenServer including all features and tools under an open source license. This includes also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal. The major change for users is that they now get all features from the licensed version for free but unless they pay for support, they have to do all security updates manually. Change logs for the new version 6.2 can be found here. It's been a few years since Citrix started giving it away, free as in beer.
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MojoKid writes "The latest in the Bond film series, Skyfall, was certainly one to remember. And not all of those memories were pleasant. The head villain's island lair was a particularly spooky place. The decaying wasteland depicted in the film was a shadow of Hashima off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. Due to its unique flat shape, the island is most widely known in Japan by its nickname Gunkanjima — aka 'Battleship Island.' In some circles, it's called 'Dead Island.' Google actually sent an employee to the island with a Street View backpack in order to capture its condition and a panoramic view for all to see in 360 degrees. You can take a virtual walk across the island now, and Google also used its Business Photos technology to let you peek into the abandoned buildings, complete with ancient black-and-white TVs and discarded soda bottles."
Billly Gates writes "The latest beta drivers for the Catalyst drivers control suite only list Vista as the lowest version they will support. We still have almost a year before Windows XP support finally ends. Will NVidia follow? So if you own a AMD system you will not receive audio, chipset, video, or any other drivers for your XP system and must upgrade or use an outdated legacy version. Looks like another death knell for this very long lasting platform."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Despite the growing list of innovative (and sometimes expensive) adaptations designed to transform datacenters into slightly-less-active power gluttons, the most effective way to make datacenters more efficient is also the most obvious, according to researchers from Stanford, Berkeley and Northwestern. Using power-efficient hardware, turning power down (or off) when the systems aren't running at high loads, and making sure air-cooling systems are pointed at hot IT equipment—rather than in a random direction—can all do far more than fancier methods for cutting datacenter power, according to Jonathan Koomey, a Stanford researcher who has been instrumental in making power use a hot topic in IT. Many of the most-publicized advances in building "green" datacenters during the past five years have focused on efforts to buy datacenter power from sources that also have very low carbon footprints. But "green" energy buying didn't match the impact of two very basic, obvious things: the overall energy efficiency of the individual pieces of hardware installed in a datacenter, and the level of efficiency with which those systems were configured and managed, Koomey explained in a blog published in conjunction with his and his co-authors' paper on the subject in Nature Climate Change . (The full paper is behind a paywall but Koomey offered to distribute copies free to those contacting him via his personal blog.)"
Ogi_UnixNut writes "Scientists in Japan have succeeded in cloning a mouse from a drop of blood. From the BBC: 'Circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone, a team at the Riken BioResource Center reports in the journal Biology of Reproduction.' The female mouse managed to live a normal lifespan and could reproduce, according to the researchers."
hypnosec writes "ICANN, as a step towards expanding global top level domain names, has approved a new Domain Name Registrar Accreditation Agreement that is expected to bring about waves of continued improvements in the domain name ecosystem (PDF). The new agreement is a result of efforts of over a year of negotiations that took place between ICANN and Registrar Stakeholders Group. The new agreement brings quite a few improvements, including making it mandatory for registrars to appoint a point-of contact for reporting abuse, and to establish registrar responsibilities for reseller compliance, enhancement of compliance tools, audit rights, and certification requirements, among others."
hyperorbiter writes "With the advent of Google Apps for Education, there has been a massive uptake by the K12 schools I deal with on signing students up with their own Google powered email address under the school domain. In addition, the students' work when using Google Apps is stored offshore and out of our control — with no explicit comeback if TOS are breached by Google. It seems to me that the school cannot with integrity maintain it has control over the data and its use. I have expressed a concern that it is unethical to use these services without informing the students' parents of what is at stake e.g. the students are getting a digital footprint from the age of seven and are unaware of the implications this may have later in life. The response has often been that I'm over-reacting and that the benefits of the services far outweigh the concerns, so rather than risk knee jerk reactions by parents (a valid concern) and thereby hampering 'education', it's better to not bring this stuff up. My immediate issue isn't so much about the use of the cloud services now, but the ethics over lack of disclosure in the parental consent process. Does anyone have ideas about defining the parameters of 'informed consent' where we inform of risks without bringing about paranoia? (Google Apps is just an example here, I think it applies to many cloud services.)"
theodp writes "Silicon Valley's stranglehold on West Coast innovation is in danger. The main problem? It's no fun to live in Silicon Valley. Technology is people, explains The Atlantic's Derek Thompson, and more people are choosing to live in cities. And Silicon Valley isn't like a city, it's like a suburb. 'What's happening now,' says author Bruce Katz, 'is workers want to be in Oakland and San Francisco.' So, how might Silicon Valley save itself? 'Silicon Valley is going to have to urbanize,' Katz said. '[There is a] migration out of Silicon Valley to places where people really want to live.'"
cold fjord writes "Looks like last year was pretty busy. I wonder how many were leaks and media? From the Washington Post: 'The number of wiretaps secured in federal criminal investigations jumped 71 percent in 2012 over the previous year, according to newly released figures. Federal courts authorized 1,354 interception orders for wire, oral and electronic communications, up from 792 the previous year, ... There was a 5 percent increase in state and local use of wiretaps in the same period. ... There is no explanation of why the federal figures increased so much, and it is generally out of line with the number of wiretaps between 1997 and 2009, which averaged about 550 annually. There was also a large number of wiretaps in 2010, when 1,207 were secured. A single wiretap can sweep up thousands of communications. One 30-day local wiretap in California, for instance, generated 185,268 cellular telephone interceptions, of which 12 percent were incriminating, according to the report. The vast majority of the wiretaps in both federal and state cases were obtained as part of drug investigations, and they overwhelmingly were directed at cellphones ... Only 14 court orders were for personal residences. Most jurisdictions limit the period of surveillance to 30 days, but extensions can be obtained.'"
KernelMuncher writes "Australia's Royal Air Force has been left red-faced after a job ad asked applicants to solve a complex math problem that was revealed to be unsolvable. The service posted the puzzle in a bid to attract the country's best minds to its ranks. 'If you have what it takes to be an engineer in the Air Force call the number below,' it read, above a complicated formula which candidates had to crack. But there was a slight difficulty: The problem had typos and ended up not giving potential operatives the correct contact information."
First time accepted submitter clegrand writes "Julie Brill, a member of the Federal trade Commission, has proposed a voluntary big data industry initiative to allow consumers access to their personal records and the ability to correct them. She has coined it 'Reclaim Your Name.' While some big data companies such as Acxiom already allow such access, it is not an industry-wide practice. She sees this campaign as a natural extension of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a logical partner for the ongoing effort of the Do Not Track mechanism currently under standardization review with the W3C."
itwbennett writes "MIT Professor Dina Katabi and graduate student Fadel Adib have developed a system they call Wi-Vi that uses Wi-Fi signals to visualize moving forms behind walls. How it works: 'Wi-Vi transmits two Wi-Fi signals, one of which is the inverse of the other. When one signal hits a stationary object, the other cancels it out. But because of the way the signals are encoded, they don't cancel each other out for moving objects. That makes the reflections from a moving person visible despite the wall between that person and the Wi-Vi device. Wi-Vi can translate those faint reflections into a real-time display of the person's movements.'"
lpress writes "The Los Angeles Unified School District will spend $30 million over the next two years on iPads for 30,000 students. Coverage of the announcement has focused on Apple winning over other tablets, but that is not the key point. The top three proposals each included an app to deliver Pearson's K-12 Common Core System of Courses along with other third-party educational apps. The Common Core curriculum is not yet established, but many states are committed to it, starting next year. The new tablets and the new commitment to the Common Core curriculum will arrive around the same time, and busy faculty (and those hired to train them) will adopt the Pearson material. The tablets will be obsolete in a few years and the hardware platform may change, but lock-in to Pearson's default curriculum may last for generations."
SmartAboutThings writes "Microsoft has just announced the next version of DirectX, 11.2, on its website. But the real 'problem' is that it is going to be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and next generation consoles — Xbox One and Play Station 4. This is not news, as DirectX 11.1 was exclusive to Windows 7 & 8. But is this going to help Microsoft convince people to ugprade or will make them angry?"
An anonymous reader writes "Google has added native Microsoft Office file editing to the dev channel for Chrome OS. The addition means Chrome OS users on the latest build of the company's browser-based operating system can now experiment with editing Microsoft Word and Excel files. The dev channel for Chrome OS is updated once or twice weekly. Since the feature has made it in there, it's likely to show up in the beta channel, and then eventually the stable channel. Today's news that Google is already working on editing, and not just viewing, Microsoft Office documents in Chrome OS is very interesting because of the potential. Maybe by the end of year, the functionality will make it into the Chrome browser, too."