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."
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."
I wonder if Microsoft Visual Earth has been getting their data from Setec Astronomy??
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.'"
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?"
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."
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."
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?
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)."
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.)
DVega writes "Due to increasing legal costs, murder suspect Hans Reiser is seeking to sell his company. His lawyer William DuBois said he is running out of money to pay for his defense. DuBois added, 'This is a unique opportunity for someone to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. We welcome all vultures.' This is a good opportunity to own a filesystem and rename it after your own."
fiannaFailMan writes to point out The Economist's reporting on the way consumer-driven software products are increasingly making their presence felt in the corporate world. Some CIOs are embracing the influx while others continue to resist it. From the article: "In the past, innovation was driven by the military or corporate markets. But now the consumer market, with its vast economies of scale and appetite for novelty, leads the way. Compared with the staid corporate-software industry, using these services is like 'receiving technology from an advanced civilization,' says [one university CIO]... [M]ost IT bosses, especially at large organizations, tend to be skeptical of consumer technologies and often ban them outright. Employees, in return, tend to ignore their IT departments. Many young people... use services such as Skype to send instant messages or make free calls while in the office. FaceTime, a Californian firm that specializes in making such consumer applications safe for companies, found in a recent survey that more than half of employees in their 20s and 30s admitted to installing such software over the objections of IT staff."
prostoalex writes "Ever get that warm feeling of safety, when the anti-phishing toolbar on Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 turns green, telling you it's safe to shop on the site you're visiting? Well, you probably don't, but the millions of Internet users who will soon be running IE7 probably will be paying attention to the anti-phishing warnings. WSJ.com is reporting on how Microsoft is making it tough for small businesses to assure they're treated properly by the anti-phishing algorithm." From the article: "[S]ole proprietorships, general partnerships and individuals won't be eligible for the new, stricter security certificates that Microsoft requires to display the color. There are about 20.6 million sole proprietorships and general partnerships in the U.S... though it isn't clear how many are engaged in e-commerce... 'Are people going to trust the green more than white? Yes, they will,' says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner Inc. and an expert on online payments and fraud. 'All the business is going to go to the greens, it's kind of obvious.'"