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Space

How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy 272 272

New submitter kanweg writes: If you look at the Milky Way at night, it appears not much is changing. But over time, stars get closer and further to each other. Coryn Bailer-Jones, an astrophysicist at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, found that of 14 stars coming within three light-years of Earth, the closest encounter is likely to be HIP 85605, which now lies some 16 light years away in the constellation of Hercules. It will get a close as the Oort cloud.

This could be a (very long-term) method for human or alien civilizations to practice star hopping. Why travel 16 light-years through space when you can just wait until a star with a suitable planet gets close enough that you only have to cover the last stretch with an artificial spaceship? Take your time for a thoughtful response; it will take another 250,000 to 470,000 year before the close encounter.
Google

StarOffice Dropped From Google Pack 135 135

Barence writes "Sun's StarOffice suite has been mysteriously dropped from the Google Pack of free software. The office suite has been axed without any warning or explanation on the Google site. Is Google trying to drive more people towards its own online suite of office applications? Or has it been stung into action by Steve Ballmer's recent comment that Microsoft Office faces stronger competition from StarOffice than it does Google Docs and Spreadsheet?"

Red Hat Not Seeing Microsoft, Ubuntu as Threats 241 241

Ian Price writes "Red Hat is shrugging off Microsoft's entry into the cluster computing space after Microsoft announced that it has completed the code for its Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 targeting high-performance computing. From the article: 'Scott Crenshaw, general manager of enterprise Linux platform at Red Hat, dismissed Microsoft's entry into cluster computing. "They're playing catch-up," he said. "Linux is often associated with high-performance computing, but Windows has never achieved that on a large scale."' Crenshaw also commented with respect to Ubuntu: 'Their user base is still small, so we're not seeing the impact of it [Ubuntu] so far.'"

Convicted Hacker Adrian Lamo Refuses to Give Blood 673 673

CaliforniaCCW writes "Hopefully everyone here remembers the case of Adrian Lamo, a so-called 'gray hat' hacker who plead guilty to one count of computer crimes against Microsoft, Nexis-Lexis and the New York Times in 2004. He got a felony conviction, six months detention in his parents' home, and two years of probation. Today, as a condition of his probation, he must provide a sample of his DNA in the form of a blood sample, something which he has refused to do. Should convicted felons on probation have privacy rights over their DNA? Or is a blood sample like a fingerprint, something that everyone should provide to their government?"

Apple Pushes to Unmask Product Leaker 255 255

Zack Wells writes "Should online journalists receive the same rights as traditional reporters? Apple claims they should not. Its lawyers say in court documents that Web scribes are not 'legitimate members of the press' when they reveal details about forthcoming products that the company would prefer to keep confidential. That argument has drawn stiff opposition from bloggers and traditional journalists. This is related to a case of an Apple news site, PowerPage.org, who leaked information about a FireWire audio interface for GarageBand that has been codenamed 'Asteroid.' The subpoena is on hold during the appeal. In the lawsuit, filed in late 2004, Apple is not suing the Mac news sites directly, but instead has focused on still-unnamed 'John Doe' defendants. The subpoena has been sent to Nfox.com, PowerPage's e-mail provider, which says it will comply if legally permitted."

Red Hat to Acquire JBoss 159 159

tecker writes "Redhat.com has a banner and press release that states that it will be Red Hat that will buy JBoss and not Oracle as previously thought. The press release states "the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire JBoss, the global leader in open source middleware. By acquiring JBoss, Red Hat expects to accelerate the shift to service-oriented architectures (SOA), by enabling the next generation of web-enabled applications running on a low-cost, open source platform." Could it be that a one company server package that will rival Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 and ASP will finally emerge?"

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Alpha Peeking Out (Or Not) 216 216

anadgouda writes "Mozilla Firefox 2.0 alpha is released. The links for download were not available directly on Mozilla.com website. Being Alpha, all features might not work and most of the plugins might not be compatible." Reading thru the comments, it appears there's some disparity as to whether or not this is actually just a naming scheme that they use; but let me reiterate that there has been no official announcement from Mozilla, so take with a giant grain of salt. Some good screenshots at OSdir.

VMS must die!

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