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Operating Systems

+ - Are spaces in filenames worth it?

Submitted by innocent_white_lamb
innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "After yet another episode of having a perfectly good script (this one straight out of a book, in fact) fail due to a space in a filename, I was just thinking.... Do you think that the "convenience" of having spaces as allowed characters in a filename outweighs the special processing that having a space in a filename requires when you are trying to do something from the commandline? Even if you're typing a simple command, you still have to use a \ in front of every space in the filename, which adds characters to what you're typing. And in bash scripting you get into little joys like single and double quotes and so on.

In the day of DOS, you had to work at it to get a space into a filename. (And with 8.3 you generally wouldn't want to waste that character even if you could do it easily.)

My Letter to Aunt Sally.txt is indeed somewhat more readable than MyLetterToAuntSally.txt, but is it sufficiently better as to justify the additional special handling it will require if you're trying to deal with it from a commandline?"
Privacy

+ - Get a life or just Google it - the choice is yours

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "The Belfast Telegraph has an article Google plans to target people's interests using data collected on its users. From the article: "Google's declaration of intent to assemble the most comprehensive database of personal information has thrown down the gauntlet to civil libertarians. The multi-billion pound search engine claims it wants to "better" the internet experience by organising the world's information and collating data on its users so it can guess what customers are searching for."

The ultimate aim is to make Google so personal that it can target people known to be interested in certain products or services just from their Google activities. For example if you want to buy a particular book from a certain site, Google could locate other sites selling the same book at a cheaper price or it could recommend other books by the same author. Users will only be identified by name if they sign up to one of the log-on services such as G-mail or Frugal.

Critics fear the database is the next step towards an Orwellian Big Brother state. Privacy protection campaigners fear that in certain circumstances law enforcement agents could force internet search engines to surrender personal information."
Anime

+ - Japan Creates a Nobel Prize For Manga

Submitted by
theatrecade
theatrecade writes ""Japan will hand out its first "Nobel Prize of Manga" this summer for artists in the comic book genre abroad, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday — another step in its efforts to harness the power of pop culture diplomacy. The International Manga Award — which manga enthusiast Foreign Minister Taro Aso likened to a "Nobel Prize" when he first proposed it last year — will be given to an artist working abroad whose work best contributes to the spread of the manga form worldwide, the ministry said in a statement." http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/05/22/manga. nobel.ap/index.html"
Privacy

+ - NSA Oversight Act introduced in House

Submitted by Watson Ladd
Watson Ladd (955755) writes "A bill has been introduced in the house of representatives that would end the warrantless spying on Americans that the NSA has been performing, and make it clear that FISA or the normal warrant process are the sole means through which electronic surveillance may be authorized. The NSA Oversight Act was introduced on January 4, 2007 and is currently stuck in committee."

The World's Longest Carbon Nanotube 142

Posted by Zonk
from the woot-nanohair-different-color-every-week dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "As you probably know, carbon nanotubes have very interesting mechanical, electrical and optical properties. The problem, currently, is that they're too small (relatively speaking) to be of much use. Now, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have developed a process to build extremely long aligned carbon nanotube arrays. They've been able to produce 18-mm-long carbon nanotubes which might be spun into nanofibers. Such electrically conductive fibers could one day replace copper wires. The researchers say their nanofibers could be used for applications such as nanomedicine, aerospace and electronics."
Programming

+ - Negative coders killing progress

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "We have a problem with negative coders that are dragging the whole company down. I am sure that this is not a problem isolated just to us; so do any /.'ers have any useful advice to share with us on how to deal with these kinds of people/situations?

At our company we are attempting a rewrite a major part of our software, which is badly needed to bring us up to speed with current technology, failure to move in this direction within the next couple of years would ultimatley sink the company. A few employees have been assigned the task and have had a hard time getting the project done.

There are difficulties with the flow of information between the 3 coders, the project manager, a regional manager and the CEO. They constantly disagree between business requirements, functionality and deadlines. The coders are very negative and complain all the time, about everything. Management do not seem to help by having requirements that constantly change and a lack of critical decision making being made (according to the negative coders).

I do not know the source of the problems, but I do know that the overwhelming negative nature of the coders is running the project into the ground. One of the 3 developers and the original project manager have resigned because of the difficulty in dealing with the negative environment and the lack of progress. The current project manager is heading in the same general direction as his predecessor....becoming the scapegoat for the negative coders. The coders are far to valuable to get rid of, as they have far to much fundamental knowledge that the company cannot afford to loose.

I would be interested in hearing any advice that people have, and if anyone has similar experiences that they can share. Have you had a similar problem in the past? What did you do and what happened?"
Mozilla

+ - Over 27% of Firefox patches come from volunteers

Submitted by
dolphinling
dolphinling writes "Everyone knows the Mozilla Corporation makes a lot of money and employs a lot of people now. Google has full-time employees working on Firefox too, as do a number of other places. Yet despite that, in the six months up to Firefox 2 "27% of the patches to Firefox and Gecko and other key projects were submitted by key volunteers, [and] those patches represent 24% of changes made to the source code". What's more, those numbers only counted contributers with 50 patches or more, so the actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher. It's good to see that even as Mozilla does so well in the business world, it can still keep its ties to the community so strong."

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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