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Microsoft

+ - How Microsoft can lock Linux off W8 PCs-> 3

Submitted by
Julie188
Julie188 writes "Windows 8 PCs will use the next-generation booting specification known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). And actually Windows 8 logo devices will be required to use the secure boot portion of the new spec. Secure UEFI is intended to thwart rootkit infections by using PKI authentication before allowing executables or drivers to be loaded onto the device. Problem is, unless the device manufacturer gives a key to the device owner, it can also be used to keep the PC's owner from wiping out the current OS and installing another option, such as Linux."
Link to Original Source
AMD

Erratum Plagues Quad-Core Opterons, Phenoms 226

Posted by kdawson
from the correct-or-fast-choose-at-most-one dept.
theraindog writes "Errata are not uncommon with new processors, but a problem with the TLB logic in AMD's quad-core Opteron and Phenom processors appears to be quite serious. The erratum is so severe that AMD has issued a 'stop ship' order on all quad-core Opterons. AMD has also blamed this bug for the delay of the 2.4GHz Phenom, despite the fact that the erratum is unrelated to clock speed. A BIOS-based workaround for the issue has been made available to motherboard makers, but it apparently carries a 10-20% performance penalty. What's more disturbing is that AMD knew of the erratum and the potential performance hit associated with fixing it before it launched the Phenom processor. Hardware provided to the press for reviews did not include the fix, conveniently overstating Phenom performance."
Google

Google News to Host Wire Service Stories 63

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the baskets-of-all-the-eggs dept.
knhasan writes to tell us that Google has just announced a new program in which they will host wire news stories directly on their site. This is widely believed to be the first concrete fallout from recent troubles with Agence France Presse (who sued Google for alleged copyright infringement) among other wire services. "The new feature unveiled Friday is called 'duplicate detection,' which lets Google News identify the original source of a story that may appear in tens or hundreds of news outlet Web sites. If the source story is from one of the four news service agencies that Google has licensing agreements with, Google will display the story on a page that it hosts."
Handhelds

Palm Unveils Foleo, Linux-Based "Mobile Companion" 301

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-little-too-late-or-lifesaver dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Contrary to recent rumors, it's not Palm's first Linux smartphone, and no, it's not a competitor to Nokia's Linux-based N800 Internet Tablet. Rather, Palm today unveiled the Foleo, which it's calling a 'new class' of mobile device. The device is designed to expand the email, Internet, and productivity application capabilities of mobile phones such as the Palm Treo, by adding a full-size keyboard and a larger screen. Company founder Jeff Hawkins predicts that the Foleo will be more successful than Palm's original Palm Pilot, which he designed, and more successful than its current Treo smartphones. He touts its simplicity: 'Press a button, it's on. Press it again, it's off. There are no other modes.'"
Power

+ - Wireless power on the desktop scale

Submitted by RockDoctor
RockDoctor (15477) writes "Nature are reporting early versions of a desktop-ready device for wirelessly powering equipment. A plastic sheet a millimeter thick on the desktop contains induction coils, microelectromechanical switches and control circuitry, applied to a conductive polymer base by various forms of printing. When the sheet detects a compatible receiver within range (~2.5cm), the nearest coil is switched on and provides the receiver with up to 40W of power inductively. The devices are not yet ready for mainstream — another 5 years of development is estimated — and there is the issue of persuading manufacturers to incorporate the receiving equipment into their new designs. But a projected price of ~$100 for a square metre of transmitter is credible (SG $ ? or CA or US? not specified in the article; the developers are in Japan). Now, if you could get power receivers that would supply (for example) a conventional mobile-phone charging-cradle, that would be a useful step towards widespread acceptance.

Could this lead to the start of a new VHS-vs-BetaMax or HDDVD-vs-BluRay style compatibility war? If one manufacturer is trying such an obvious idea, likely others are."
Bug

QuickTime .MOV + Toshiba + Vista = BSOD 392

Posted by kdawson
from the puzzler dept.
Question Guy writes "Apple QuickTime is involved in a troubling problem that doesn't seem to be addressed by any of the major software and hardware manufacturers involved. On Toshiba machines, such as the Protege Tablet M400s, with Windows Vista installed, opening a locally stored QuickTime .MOV causes instant bluescreen. All other video functions seem to be working in other video playback types — even streaming .MOVs work — and there is little to no 'buzz' on the Net that might push any of the parties to investigate or to play nice together (Microsoft for Vista, Intel for the GMA945 chipset, Toshiba for their custom tablet software, Apple for QuickTime). Help, anyone?"
Operating Systems

ReactOS 0.3.1 Released 189

Posted by kdawson
from the fresh-bits dept.
fireballrus writes with news of the release of ReactOS 0.3.1 — press release, changelog, download packages. ReactOS is "an open source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003)." The press release notes: "Please don't forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS. Also, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware."
Biotech

DNA to Test Theory of Roman Village in China 203

Posted by Zonk
from the now-that-is-lost dept.
Reverse Gear writes "Many of the inhabitants of a lonely village in north western China seems to have distinctive western features. An old theory from the 50s suggests that a Roman legion lost in what is now Iran in the year 53BC lost their commanding officer. They traveled east, so the legend goes, working as mercenaries until they were caught by the Chinese 17 years later. The Chinese described them as using a 'fish-scale formation', which could be a reference to the well-known Roman phalanx technique called the 'tortoise'. The remainder of the legion, it is suggested, may have intermarried with the villagers in Liqian. Scientists are now trying to verify the fascinating theory by testing the DNA of the inhabitants of the Chinese village."
Software

Vista - iPod Killer? 557

Posted by Zonk
from the stranger-and-stranger dept.
JMB wrote us with a dire warning, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News. Apple is cautioning its Windows-using iTunes customers to steer clear of Vista until the next iTunes update. The reason for this is a bit puzzling. Apparently, if you try to 'safely remove' your iPod from a Vista-installed PC, there's a chance you may corrupt the little music player. They also claim that songs may not play, and contacts may not sync with the device. Apple went so far as to release a detailed support document on the subject, which assures users that a new Vista-compatible version of the software will be available in a few weeks. Is this just some very creative FUD? If it is not who do you think is 'at fault' here, Microsoft or Apple?
Spam

Fight Spam With Nolisting 410

Posted by kdawson
from the noncompliant-spambots dept.
An anonymous reader writes with the technique of Nolisting, which fights spam by specifying a primary MX that is always unavailable. The page is an extensive FAQ and how-to guide that addressed the objections I immediately came up with. From the article: "It has been observed that when a domain has both a primary (high priority, low number) and a secondary (low priority, high number) MX record configured in DNS, overall SMTP connections will decrease when the primary MX is unavailable. This decrease is unexpected because RFC 2821 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) specifies that a client MUST try and retry each MX address in order, and SHOULD try at least two addresses. It turns out that nearly all violators of this specification exist for the purpose of sending spam or viruses. Nolisting takes advantage of this behavior by configuring a domain's primary MX record to use an IP address that does not have an active service listening on SMTP port 25. RFC-compliant clients will retry delivery to the secondary MX, which is configured to serve the role normally performed by the primary MX)."
Science

Giant Rabbits To Feed North Korea 421

Posted by kdawson
from the mmm-thumper dept.
iamdrscience writes with news of an East German pensioner who breeds rabbits the size of dogs. Karl Szmolinsky won a prize for breeding Germany's largest rabbit, at 23 lbs., in 2006. News photos reached the North Koreans, who asked through their embassy whether Szmolinsky would be willing to sell them some as foodstocks — each rabbit yields about 15 lb. of meat. A deal was struck and Szmolinsky will be traveling to North Korea in April to help them set up a breeding program. (The photos in the article use the most extreme, contrived camera angles to make the rabbits look even more huge.)

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