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Open Source

Submission + - Big Data Is The Future Of IT, Says Hadoop Creator (

judgecorp writes: "Hadoop co-creator Doug Cutting says Big Data is the long term future of enterprise computing. In this interview, he praises Oracle for the "honest appraisal" which led it to back the open source approach to Big Data, and talks about his other roles . Chairing the Apache Foundation is like "parenting", he says."

Submission + - Meet the Mozilla OS Developer Phone (

An anonymous reader writes: It’s no secret that Mozilla has been working on a mobile OS. Previously codenmed Boot2Gecko, the project focused on a purely HTML5 based system that worked in many ways like current mobile devices. As the project grew into Mozilla OS, the company has laid out a partnership with ZTE that will have real world devices in certain markets early next year. Testing for this OS had previously consisted of a compiled ROM that would be flashed over a handful of Android devices. Now, Mozilla has moved into full fledged product evaluation mode with their own custom developer phone.

Submission + - Are Football Coaches Mathematically Irrational? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Joseph Stromberg writes in the Smithsonian that economist David Romer used data from more than 700 NFL games to study a choice frequently encountered by football coaches on fourth down: kick a field goal or try for a touchdown? Romer calculated the average chance of winning generated by each choice at different positions on the field and compared the data to the actual choices made by NFL coaches and concluded that most coaches avoid risk to an irrational extent (PDF), often opting to kick a field goal when going for a touchdown would provide a better chance of winning. Soon after the Romer study, Chuck Bower drew upon many of the principles used in building computer models for other games and built ZEUS: a powerful computer program that can analyze in-game situations on the fly and provide high-volume data analysis to coaches in real time. No football coach has ever admitted to using Zeus but there is evidence that one coach in particular might be utilizing the cutting-edge program: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, set to coach in his 5th Super Bowl on Sunday. The evidence? Belichick seems to be better than average at making optimal choices in critical play-calling situations and is famous for his unconventional decision-making, often opting to go for an aggressive play on fourth down when most coaches would punt or kick a field goal. When ZEUS was used to analyze a particularly controversial fourth down call made by Belichick—at the end of a crucial 2010 game against the Indianapolis Colts, he opted to go for it on his own 28-yard line, an unusually aggressive choice. ZEUS surprised many by saying Belichick had, statistically, made the right call. "Of course, statistical projections are not guarantees. In that case, the decision didn’t work out, and the Patriots lost the game," writes Stromberg. "But if Belichick does have ZEUS on his sideline, it might give him that much better odds of being the winning coach on Sunday.""

Submission + - Hackers Generate Fake SSL Certificates (

wiredmikey writes: US-CERT, Microsoft, Mozilla and other organizations have issued warnings this week regarding fraudulent SSL certificates being issued.

According to the Comodo Group, Inc., the certificate authority responsible for issuing the fraudulent certificates, a Comodo affiliate RA was compromised on On March 15th 2011, resulting in the fraudulent issue of 9 SSL certificates to sites in seven domains.

Comodo's incident report shows that the attack came from several IP addresses, mainly from Iran. According to the report, "The attacker was well prepared and knew in advance what he was to try to achieve. He seemed to have a list of targets that he knew he wanted to obtain certificates for, was able quickly to generate the CSRs for these certificates and submit the orders to our system so that the certificates would be produced and made available to him."


Submission + - A Life Is Saved By DNA Sequencing (

Matthew Herper writes: I've been covering DNA sequencing for a decade, and this is one of those moments that crystallizes the potential of this technology. A small child with a deadly condition that doctors are struggling to diagnose, no less treat. They sequence his DNA, and find a genetic cause they wouldn't have imagined. As a result, the doctors can try a risky but potentially effective treatment.

I don't think most people realize this, but DNA sequencing is decreasing in cost and increasing in speed at a rate that exceeds Moore's law. This technology has more velocity than any other out there. In the current issue of Forbes, I wrote a cover story about the first attempt to sell chaep ($50,000, but compare that to $500,000) minicomputer-type boxes for doing some of this work. There may be a revolution on that Slashdotters should pay attention to. Regardless — this poor kid — this is a pretty big moment.


Submission + - More evidence that red rain could be alien life (

MMBK writes: Evidence is mounting that could realistically lead scientists to believe the mysterious red rain in India is in fact alien life. The cells reproduce at a temperature of 250F. Even more damning (or really cool, depending on how you look at it) is this finding: When blasted with fluorescent light, the spectrum given off by the cells virtually mirrors the spectrum given off by Red Rectangle nebula.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.