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Open Source

Broadcom Releases Source Code For Drivers 350

Posted by timothy
from the they-sure-get-my-goodwill dept.
I'm Not There (1956) writes "Broadcom, the world's largest manufacturer of Wi-Fi transceivers, open sources its Linux device drivers. This is a big win for Linux users, as there are a lot of users that face Wi-Fi problems when they use Linux on their laptops. With these device drivers now open source, distributions can ship them out-of-the-box, and that means no Linux Wi-Fi problems for new devices and upcoming distributions at all."
United States

9/11 Made Us Safer, Says Bruce Schneier 280

Posted by timothy
from the silver-lining dept.
richi writes "Security guru and BT CTO Bruce Schneier discusses terrorist attacks. In fact, Bruce seems to be saying that 9/11 actually made us safer from terrorists, which seems like a curious argument. While Bruce's blog post is interesting and no doubt insightful, I'm not sure I really buy it. And what's the deal with the new rules for searching the TSA No Fly List? Why is it, in 2010, we're still mucking about with publishing database extracts and waiting hours for them to be searched? How about checking within seconds of an update? Couldn't someone volunteer to show them how to implement a reliable, scalable, NoSQL setup? Instead, the TSA plan to fix this is a classic 'big government' solution."
Mars

How Do You Land a Nuke-Powered Mini-Cooper On Mars? 218

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat dept.
tcd004 writes "Miles O'Brien narrates this video simulation of NASA's next Mars shot, which promises to out-gun all previous efforts. The Mini Cooper-sized Mars Science Laboratory, which is now named Curiosity, will crawl the Martian surface under steam from a nuclear powerplant — but it's a gentle giant compared to its predecessors. Recent theories have emerged that previous attempts at identifying organic compounds in Martian soil may have actually cooked away any signs of life-giving elements. Curiosity will go to great pains to avoid scorching the Earth ... erm ... Mars."
Bug

The Economics of Perfect Software 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the done-versus-done-ish dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This article takes the interesting perspective that leaving bugs in software is good — little ones, at least. This quote is particularly insightful: 'How do you know whether a bug is big or little? Think about who's going to hit it, and how mad they'll be when they do. If a user who goes through three levels of menus, opens an advanced configuration window, checks three checkboxes, and hits the 'A' key gets a weird error message for his trouble, that's a little bug. It's buried deep, and when the user hits it, he says 'huh,' clicks a button, and then goes on his merry way. If your program crashes on launch for a common setup, though, that's a big bug. Lots of people will hit it, and they will all be pissed. ... The cost of fixing all the bugs in your program and then being sure you fixed them all is way too high compared to the cost of having a few users hit some bugs they won't care about."

Comment: Re:Activision (Score 1) 276

by Bob Wehadababyitsabo (#31336466) Attached to: Infinity Ward Lead Developers Axed Unexpectedly
This is where /. needs a (-1, Wrong) moderation option. I would mod troll, but instead, link.

"China’s snapshot of its January trade data on Wednesday came the morning after Germany released official data confirming that it hads lost its status as the world’s leading exporter.
Chinese exports amounted to $1.2 trillion in 2009, while German exports totaled $1.1 trillion, the German Federal Statistical Office said."
Graphics

Microsoft Wants To Participate In SVG Development 292

Posted by timothy
from the speak-friend-and-enter dept.
rossendryv writes "After many years of fighting against the standard, Microsoft announced they are joining the WC3's SVG working group to help with the development of SVG. 'We recognize that vector graphics are an important component of the next-generation Web platform,' said Patrick Dengler, senior program manager on Microsoft's Internet Explorer team in a blog post."

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pricepoint-better-be-right dept.
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."

Comment: New York City (Score 1) 920

by Bob Wehadababyitsabo (#30404422) Attached to: The best pizza I have ever had, I found ...
The birthplace of modern pizza (among other things). Lombardi'stalks a big game but is definitely worthy of its reputation.
Pretty hard to go wrong with pizza in NYC in general -- even most of the "Famous" "Original" "Ray's" serve up a pretty decent slice. None of that deep dish bullshit for me, thankyouverymuch.
Cellphones

FCC Inquires About Controversial Verizon Fees 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-do-you-think-you're-up-to dept.
olsmeister writes "As previously noted here on Slashdot, Verizon Wireless has been increasing their early termination fees and actively charging non-data customers who accidentally press the wrong button and go online. The FCC has now sent them a letter asking why. The PDF of the letter can be viewed online. Maybe someone at the FCC does read Slashdot."
Earth

Modeling the Economy As a Physics Problem 452

Posted by kdawson
from the gazintas-and-comezoutas dept.
University of Utah physicist Tim Garrett has published a study that approaches the economy and its relation to global warming as a physics problem — and comes to some controversial conclusions: that rising carbon dioxide emissions cannot be stabilized unless the world's economy collapses or society builds the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant each day. The study was panned by economists and was rejected by several journals before its acceptance in the journal Climatic Change. "[Garrett discovered that] Throughout history, a simple physical constant... links global energy use to the world's accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn't necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society's future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions. ... 'I'm not an economist, and I am approaching the economy as a physics problem,' Garrett says. 'I end up with a global economic growth model different than they have.' Garrett treats civilization like a 'heat engine' that 'consumes energy and does "work" in the form of economic production, which then spurs it to consume more energy,' he says. That constant is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, 'each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption,' Garrett says. ... Perhaps the most provocative implication of Garrett's theory is that conserving energy doesn't reduce energy use, but spurs economic growth and more energy use."
Software

Microsoft COFEE Leaked 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-so-hot-cofee-incident dept.
54mc writes "Crunchgear reports that Microsoft's long-searched-for forensics tool, COFEE, has been leaked. The tool started on a small, private tracker, but has since worked its way to The Pirate Bay. Not all those who have gotten hold of it are enthused, and reviews have ranged from 'disappointing' to 'useless.' From the article: 'You have absolutely no use for the program. It's not something like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, an expensive application that you download for the hell of it on the off-chance you need to put Dave Meltzer's face on Brett Hart's body as part of a message board thread. No, COFEE is 100 percent useless to you.'"
Science

A New Explanation For the Plight of Winter Babies 276

Posted by kdawson
from the prom-night dept.
Ant passes along a Wall Street Journal report on research that turned up a new explanation for the lifelong challenges experienced by winter babies. "Children born in the winter months already have a few strikes against them. Study after study has shown that they test poorly, don't get as far in school, earn less, are less healthy, and don't live as long as children born at other times of year. Researchers have spent years documenting the effect and trying to understand it... A key assumption of much of that research is that the backgrounds of children born in the winter are the same as the backgrounds of children born at other times of the year. ... [Economist] Mr. Hungerman was doing research on sibling behavior when he noticed that children in the same families tend to be born at the same time of year. Meanwhile, Ms. Buckles was examining the economic factors that lead to multiple births, and coming across what looked like a relationship between mothers' education levels and when children were born." Here's a chart in which the effect — small but significant — jumps out unmistakeably.
Internet Explorer

Reports of IE Hijacking NXDOMAINs, Routing To Bing 230

Posted by kdawson
from the if-I-want-bing-I-will-type-bing dept.
Jaeden Stormes writes "We just started getting word of a new browser hijack from our sales force. 'Some site called Bing?' they said. Sure enough, since the patches last night, their IE6 and IE7 installations are now routing all NXDOMAINs to Bing. Try it out — put in something like www.DoNotHijackMe.com." We've had mixed results here confirming this: one report that up-to-date IE8 behaves as described. Others tried installing all offered updates to systems running IE6 and IE7 and got no hijacking.
Update: 08/11 23:24 GMT by KD : Readers are reporting that it's not Bing that comes up for a nonexistent domain, it's the user's default search engine (noting that at least one Microsoft update in the past changed the default to Bing). There may be nothing new here.

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