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Windows

Microsoft Admits Vista Has "High Impact Issues" 520

Posted by kdawson
from the surprising-no-one dept.
EggsAndSausage writes "Microsoft has granted, in a roundabout way, that Vista has 'high impact issues.' It has put out an email call for technical users to participate in testing Service Pack 1, due out later this year, which will address 'regressions from Windows Vista and Windows XP, security, deployment blockers and other high impact issues.' It's hard to know whether to be reassured that Service Pack 1 is coming in the second half of 2007, and thus that there is a timeframe for considering deployment of Vista within businesses, or to be alarmed that Microsoft is unleashing an OS on the world with 'high impact issues' still remaining." In other news, one blogger believes that Vista is the first Microsoft OS since Windows 3.1 to have regressed in usability from its predecessor (he kindly forgives and dismisses Windows ME). And there's a battle raging over the top 10 reasons to get Vista or not to get Vista.
Privacy

RFID Tattoo for Tracking Cattle and Humans 181

Posted by Zonk
from the one-mammal-is-as-bad-as-the-rest-go-reptoids dept.
ack154 writes "The Register reports that a St Louis based company, Somark Innovations, has successfully tested RFID tattoos to be used for tracking cattle and other animals. Details are limited for the actual tattoo, but it's said to contain no metals and can be read up to about four feet away. Engadget has some more details on the matter. And yes, the article does mention RFID tattoos are possible for people, specifically the military. From the article: 'The system developed by Somark uses an array of needles to quickly inject a pattern of dots into each animal, with the pattern changing for each injection. This pattern can then be read from over a meter away using a proprietary reader operating at high frequency.'"
Slashback

Slashback: Net Neutrality, Bugged Coins, and Pawns 102

Posted by kdawson
from the correction-retraction-and-apology dept.
Slashback tonight brings some clarifications and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including: anti-Net-neutrality article modified; no bugged Canadian coins; a tech program for women in Silicon Valley; Pirate Bay and Sealand; and Microsoft evangelist apologizes for "pawns" comment. Read on for details.
The Internet

Political Strife Erupts in Second Life 156

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-hot-in-there dept.
covert.c writes "A real-life drama in the political world has spilled over into the virtual, as the Second Life headquarters of France's controversial Front National political party fell to violent protesters. The anti-FN activists, who had armed themselves with slogans, placards and weapons, leveled the digital buildings occupied by Front National. Second Life is often home to established political and social movements. It seems logical that opposing forces would also choose to make SL their stage."
Google

When Your Site Ceases To Exist 191

Posted by kdawson
from the without-a-trace dept.
El Lobo writes with a sobering account of how Javalobby dropped off the face of Google last month. The site had been attacked by forum spammers and Google indexed some of their spew before the Javalobby guys could remove it. According to a post in Rich Skrenta's blog, Google is now the de-facto front page for the Internet, accounting for anywhere from 70% to 78% of the search market. The power this conveys is hard to overstate. From the Javalobby saga: "We had completely disappeared from Google's main index! If you run a website, then you know how serious a problem this is. On any given day over 10,000 visitors arrive at Javalobby as a result of Google searches, and suddenly they stopped coming! ... Suddenly we no longer existed in the eyes of Google."

Microsoft Gets Help From NSA for Vista Security 233

Posted by Zonk
from the keeping-them-from-getting-into-mischief dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft received help from the National Security Agency in protecting the Vista operating system from worms and viruses. The Agency aimed to help as many people as they could, and chose to assist Vista with good reason: the OS still has a 90 percent lock on the PC market, with some 600 million Vista users expected by 2010. From the article: 'The Redmond, Wash., software maker declined to be specific about the contributions the NSA made to secure the Windows operating system ... Microsoft said this is not the first time it has sought help from the NSA. For about four years, Microsoft has tapped the spy agency for security expertise in reviewing its operating systems, including the Windows XP consumer version and the Windows Server 2003 for corporate customers.'"
Microsoft

Dark Cloud Over Good Works of Gates Foundation 325

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the behind-every-fortune dept.
theodp writes "Justice Eta, a Nigerian infant, has an ink spot on his tiny thumb to show he was immunized against polio and measles thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But Justice still faces respiratory trouble, which locals call 'the cough' and blame on fumes and soot spewing from 300-foot flames at a nearby oil plant owned by Itallian energy giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Part one of an L.A. Times investigation reports that the world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants aim to help. With the exception of tobacco companies, the foundation's asset managers do not avoid investments in firms whose activities conflict with the mission to do good."
Hardware Hacking

Water Cooling Computers With A Swimming Pool 241

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the take-your-pc-for-a-dip dept.
guzugi writes "This is a project I have been working for several months and been hypothesizing for much longer. The basic idea is to shortcut the need for an air conditioner when cooling multiple computers. Swimming pool water is pumped into the house and through several waterblocks to effectively cool these hot machines. This greatly reduces noise cooling requirements."
Patents

New Patent Suit Threatens Bluetooth Standard 61

Posted by Zonk
from the we-need-those-teeth-for-talking dept.
Aditi.Tuteja writes "A U.S. research institute has sued Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Matsushita-owned Panasonic for violating a patent on Bluetooth technology, potentially putting the free wireless standard at risk. The Washington Research Foundation, which markets technology from the University of Washington, is seeking damages from the three mobile-phone makers for using a radio frequency receiver technology without paying royalties. From the article: 'According to the lawsuit, Bluetooth-based computers, cell phones and headsets made by the companies have violated four patents for research done in the mid-1990s by Edwin Suominen when he was a student at the University of Washington. All four patents are now licensed by the Washington Research Foundation. The foundation's lead counsel on the case, Steven Lisa, said the court filing followed two years of informal attempts to resolve the issue with the major players in the industry.'"

New Molecules for a Faster Internet 94

Posted by Zonk
from the just-think-all-of-the-internets-could-benefit dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "An international team of researchers has discovered a new generation of optical molecules which interact 50% more strongly with light than any molecules ever tested. These organic molecules, known as chromophores, have been theorized by physicists at Washington State University, synthesized by chemists in China and tested for their actual optical properties by chemists in Belgium. But if they're excellent candidates for being used in optical technologies such as optical switches and Internet connections, these new materials should not be used before several years — if ever. Read more for additional details and a picture of the physicist who broke a law he established in 1999."
KDE

A Sneak Preview of KDE 4 350

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pretty-gooey dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In recent times, a lot of discussion has been generated about the state of KDE version 4.0 and as Linux users we are ever inquisitive about what the final user experience is going to be. This article throws light on some of the features that we can look forward to when KDE 4.0 is finally released some time this year. The article indicates that the most exciting fact about KDE 4.0 is going to be that it is developed using the Qt 4.0 library. This is significant because Qt 4.0 is released under a GPL license even for non-Unix platforms. So this clears the ideological path for KDE 4.0 to be ported to Windows and other non-Unix/X11 platforms."
Microsoft

Dark Corners of the OpenXML Standard 250

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the dared-to-comply dept.
Standard Disclaimer writes "Most here on Slashdot know that Microsoft released its OpenXML specification to counter ODF and to help preserve its market position, but most people probably aren't aware of all the interesting legacy code the OpenXML specification has brought to light. This article by Rob Weir details many of the crazy legacy features in the dark corners of OpenXML. As it concludes after analyzing specification requirements like suppressTopSpacingWP, 'so not only must an interoperable OOXML implementation first acquire and reverse-engineer a 14-year old version of Microsoft Word, it must also do the same thing with a 16-year old version of WordPerfect.'"

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