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The Very Worst Uses of Windows 816

bigplrbear writes "I found an interesting article revealing the many places that Microsoft products reside, and what they're used for, ranging from elevators to ticket scanners." From the article: "Thanks to VMWare Windows is spreading throughout the datacenter. And, of course, there is only one operating system to use if you are dependent on Microsoft apps like Outlook, Word, and Excel. While I have joined the chorus of security folks who rail against the Microsoft Monoculture I still cannot believe some of the uses for Windows. Some of them are just downright silly, some you may claim are criminally negligent." Note: I'm making no claim of criminal negligence!

Submission How to Save Money Running a Startup->

0kComputer writes: CEO Jason Calcanis created an interesting post on his blog listing 17 ways for a startup company to save money. A couple of the suggestions were to "Fire People Who Aren't Workaholics" and "Buy a Good Coffee Machine". The post seems to have generated quite a debate in the blog community, with several people critizing his harsh management style; others defending it. An interesting read for anyone interested in startup management.
Link to Original Source

The Universe Is 13.73 Billion Years Old 755

CaptainCarrot writes "Phil Plait, aka The Bad Astronomer has summarized for his readers the new results released by NASA from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which has been surveying the 3K microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang. Some of the most interesting results: The age of the universe is now known to unprecedented accuracy: 13.73 billion years old, +/- 120 million. Spacetime is flat to within a 2% error margin. And ordinary matter and energy account for only 4.62% of the universe's total. Plait's comment on the age result: 'Some people might say it doesn't look a day over 6000 years. They're wrong.'"

NASA Plans to Smash Spacecraft into the Moon 176

djasbestos writes "NASA is planning to smash a spacecraft into the Moon in order to look for hydrogen deposits in the poles. More notably, it will impact with significantly greater force (100x, per the article) than previous Moon collisions, such as by the Lunar Prospector and Smart-1 probes. Admiral Ackbar was unreachable for comment as to the exact location and size of the Moon's thermal exhaust port."

Criminals Attacking Myspace, Facebook IE Plugins 70

An anonymous reader writes "According to the Washington Post's Security Fix blog, cyber criminals are populating the Internet with Web sites designed to exploit several recently-discovered security holes in a half-dozen widely used ActiveX plug-ins for IE 6 and 7, most notably the one offered by Facebook and MySpace to help users upload photos. The sites, advertised via links in email and instant message spam, also 'probe for other vulnerable IE plug-ins, including two recently discovered from Yahoo! and one for QuickTime (this one attacks a vulnerability Apple patched just last month). The sites also throw in an exploit against a six-month-old IE flaw.' The article notes that the SANS Internet Storm Center has released a GUI tool to help users safely deactivate the vulnerable plug-ins in the Windows registry."

Microsoft's "Source Fource" Action Figures 363

RCanine writes "Microsoft is attempting to curry mind share with the 3-12 age bracket with their new event, the Source Fource, a series of developer-based action figures. Windows Vista Sensei, SQL Server Gal and some lame gender stereotypes presumably seek to rid the world of bearded, katana-wielding evil-doers. From the article: 'Between March 15th and April 15th 2007, the new super dudette will be offered and will be sent to developers who get their act together and attend at least two live MSDN Webcasts or two MSDN Virtual Labs, or one of each.'" I just can't figure out what to make of this, except that I hope someone can tell me if it blends. Or melts. Or burns.
Operating Systems

Submission Are spaces in filenames worth it?

innocent_white_lamb 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?

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

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."

Submission Japan Creates a Nobel Prize For Manga

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." nobel.ap/index.html"

Submission NSA Oversight Act introduced in House

Watson Ladd 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

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."
Book Reviews

Beginning Ruby 172

TimHunter writes "Peter Cooper's Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional has two audiences, novices with no programming experience who want to learn Ruby as their first programming language, and veterans who want to add Ruby to their programming toolkit. Cooper's response to this challenge is a solid entry in the limited arena of Ruby tutorials. Even though the early chapters are marred by the occasional reference to an advanced topic, readers will appreciate the plentiful examples and thoughtful description of the Ruby language." Read below for the rest of Tim's review.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?