DCFC writes "The Royal Institution home to the famed Christmas lectures and leads science outreach in the UK has financial problems, if it dies no longer will ordinary geeks be able to quiz serious physicists and Terry Pratchett about quantum owls, no more kids building ad-hoc anti-matter detectors in Faraday's old lecture theatre and it is all your fault.
You haven't joined the Ri and if you don't the building will be turned into apartments for Russian oligarchs."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "For the second time in as many months the ratings agency Standard and Poors has put up a press release on its website that "accidentally" downgraded a major borrower.
Last month it was France, this month is was Goldman Sachs, whose shares were hit for about $460 million.
They again blame "technical issues" but as any Slashdotter knows this sort of thing isn't a typo or a fat finger if you're running a major site."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "For most of today, LinkedIn, the social media site 'for professionals', with 100 million users has been unavailable for much of today.
Users are greeted with a picture of janitor and a note that LinkedIn is "cleaning up". Occasional some parts of site functionality appear, but the dreaded pink "unexpected error" line keeps appearing, and you quickly end up getting the janitor picture again."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "VTECH technical support are showing commendable honesty about the reliability of their products.
Rather than produce software that works, or replacing defective goods, The Consumerist reports that they now tells customers that their products just don't work, sometimes.
Apparently the statements on the box that VTECH toys work with Vista and Windows 7 are only true sometimes."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "If you've read about technology in the last 35 years, you'll have read some of Guy's work, he was the longest serving tech jrounalist in the UK, and probably the world.
He covered the evolution of our industry from when the idea of a computer in your home was absurd, to the hassles you get today in getting them all to talk to each other.
At various times, he was editor of Personal Computer World, editorial fellow at Ziff Davis, columnist for PC Magazine, PCW, PC Direct and any number of his articles have been Slashdotted.
Guy cultivated a vast network of people who could help him work out what was actually going on in our industry, and he had the courage to argue with the great and the good (and Bill Gates), when he thought they had boobed. He was right often enough to get some of the credit he deserved for that. Constructively, his depth of knowledge allowed him to give advice to CEOs of major firms and newbie journalists learning the ropes, and this was freely given, for which many of us are grateful. He never took his star writer status seriously enough to become arrogant, and would listen attentively to anyone who something interesting to say.
Guy really was what most journalists aspire to be, well briefed, honest, graciosu and a good friend."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "Simon Singh, British journalist and author of several successful science book today won his appeal against the British Chiropractic Association.
The BCA had alleged that Dr Singh had made “plainest allegation of dishonesty”, which the court today ruled was 'fair comment'.
This was widely seen as an attempt to stifle criticism of Chiropractors, who who have claimed that their treatment can cure diseases from colic to cancer, with some discouraging parents from allowing their children to be vaccinated against any illness.
There has been a major backlash against the BCA in the blogosphere and amongst other science writers. This has reached such a level that lawyers for the BCA have made the effort of dealing with the backlash as part of the claim against Singh.
British Libel laws are amongst the toughest in the world. The onus is on the defendant to prove that any statement is true, and judgements including costs can often run to hundreds of thousands, allowing organisations like the BCA to use their size as a weapon against dissent. For instance in this case the costs alone, before damages were over £ 200,000, ( $ 300,000).
The BCA has vowed to fight on, presumably assuming that the science journalist will run out of money for legal fees before they do."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "News International, owners of The Times and The Sunday Times announced today that from June readers will be required to pay £1 per day or £2 per week to access content.
Rupert Murdoch is delivering on his threat to make readers pay, and is trying out this experiment with the most important titles in his portfolio.
No one knows if this will work, there is no consensus on whether it is a good or bad thing for the industry, but be very clear that if it succeeds every one of his competitors will follow.
Murdoch has the luxury of a deep and wide business, so can push this harder than any company that has to rely upon one or two titles for revenue.
So if he fails, it seems improbable that any can win this fight."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "Guy Kewney, the longest serving IT journalist in Britain (probably the world), has serious cancer, (as opposed to the really funny unserious kind). Since he is a freelancer that has had a catastrophic effect upon his earnings, but he still makes a contribution to the tech world.
His work has helped us all try to make sense of technology, from his time at PC Magazine, PCW, to many others, his stories has been slashdotted any number of times, he's far from dead, but support for him is well deserved.
NOTE: I don't know how exactly the editing system on /. works but you've used his stories enough that a link back at this time would be step to equalisation.
"Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "Quietly, OSS has been digging deep into the major banks. Areas like algorithmic trading are now dominated by Linux, and developers routinely build their solutions using GCC and other free development tools. They now understand that the quality of a system is driven by the level of people who build and maintain it, and that correlates weakly with the size of the suppler. Many banks are really quite anxious about being at the mercy of Oracle MySQL falls into its hands.
Of course you can choose for yourself whether it is good or bad that banks make major financial decisions using powerful open source tools..."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "Police had negotiated with Taylor by phone, but he made no demands other than a request for a pizza. He surrendered after a day-long hostage drama at a US post office, which seems a suboptimal place to order Pizza from, but I'm only a Brit so what do I know ?
Warren Taylor, who had reportedly entered the building pushing the chair while claiming to be carrying explosives, gave himself up and released three people he was holding."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "The Consumerist deconstructs the appliing scam that Best Buy call "optimzation". BB charge 40 bucks to give you a slower PC, and make bizarre claims that it makes it go 200% faster.
Yes, 200% faster."Link to Original Source
DCFC writes "Should you put your religion on your CV / Resume, when applying for a job in a bank ?
That's a hard question, but important in these troubled times, a headhunter for investment bankers wades into this."Link to Original Source