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Operating Systems

Submission + - Linux highlighted as threat to Microsoft (

begituindah writes: Red Hat and Canonical have been highlighted as threats to Microsoft's Window's client business for the first time in a submission by the software giant to the US SEC. The article claims the rise of Linux in netbooks has forced MS to acknowledge the two companies' performance in its Form 10-K submission. In the past Microsoft has only said Red Hat's server tools business was a threat. But in the article the author says: "The filing goes on to note, in a thinly veiled reference to netbooks, that Linux has gained what Microsoft characterizes as "some acceptance" as an alternative client OS to Windows, in particular in "emerging markets" where "competitive pressures lead OEMs to reduce costs and new, lower-price PC form-factors gain adoption."

Submission + - Goodbye Apple. Hello Music Production on Ubuntu. 1

Adam Wrzeski writes: "Create Digital Music has an interesting article on Kim Cascone's switch from Apple to Linux for audio production:

The computer functioned as both sound design studio and stage instrument. I worked this way for ten years, faithfully following the upgrade path set forth by Apple and the various developers of the software I used. Continually upgrading required a substantial financial commitment on my part.

I loaded up my Dell with all a selection of Linux audio applications and brought it with me on tour as an emergency backup to my tottering PowerBook. The Mini 9 could play back four tracks of 24-bit/96 kHz audio with effects — not bad for a netbook. The solution to my financial constraint became clear, and I bought a refurbished Dell Studio 15, installed Ubuntu on it, and set it up for sound production and business administration. The total cost was around $600 for the laptop plus a donation to a software developer — a far cry from the $3000.00 price tag and weeks of my time it would have cost me to stay locked-in to Apple. After a couple of months of solid use, I have had no problems with my laptop or Ubuntu. Both have performed flawlessly, remaining stable and reliable."

Submission + - Expedition to Explore Texas Size Plastic 'Island' 1

Peace Corps Online writes: "BBC reports that an expedition called Project Kaisei leaves this month bound for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a huge "island" of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean estimated to be twice the size of Texas to study the impact of the waste on marine life. "Every piece of trash that is left on a beach or ends up in our rivers or estuaries and washes out to the sea is an addition to the problem, so we need people to be the solution," says Ryan Yerkey, the project's chief of operations. The garbage patch occupies a large and relatively stationary region of the North Pacific Ocean bound by the North Pacific Gyre, a remote area commonly referred to as the horse latitudes. The rotational pattern created by the North Pacific Gyre draws in waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including the coastal waters off North America and Japan. As material is captured in the currents, wind-driven surface currents gradually move floating debris toward the center, trapping it in the region. "You are talking about quite a bit of marine debris but it's not a solid mass," adds Yerkley. "Twenty years from now we can't be harvesting the ocean for trash. We need to get it out but we need to also have people make those changes in their lives to stop the problem from growing and hopefully reverse the course.""

Submission + - AMD Launches 785G Chipset With DX10.1 IGP and UVD2 (

bigwophh writes: "AMD has delivered a series of solid and affordable mainstream chipsets with integrated graphics, over the past few years. Today the company announced the launch of the new 785G chipset, which is compatible with all existing socket AM3 processors, as well as legacy AM2+ products. A new addition to the 700 series chipset is DDR3 support, though the new family can also support low cost DDR2. Perhaps the biggest new feature offered by the 785G over its predecessors is a Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics processor clocked at 500MHz. While the HD 4200 carries the same default clock as the older Radeon HD 3200 IGP, it offers higher performance, as well as HDMI 1.3 support, and enhancements to AMD's Unified Video Decoder (UVD) engine."

Submission + - Teen dies in chinese gaming rehab camp

An anonymous reader writes: "A teen, who was sent to a rehabilitation camp in China to cure his internet addiction was beaten to death by his trainers. While this is considered a cure for Internet addiction, it was not what the parents of Deng Senshan, 16, had in mind when they sent him to the camp. The three supervisors who allegedly beat him to death have been arrested." Seen on:
Data Storage

Why a Hard Disk Is a Better Bargain Than an SSD 403

Lucas123 writes "While solid state disks may be all the rage, what's often being overlooked in the current consumer market hype is that fact that hard disk drive prices are at an all-time low — offering users good performance and massive amounts of capacity for 10 to 30 cents a gigabyte. And in a side by side comparison of overall performance of consumer SSDs and HDDs, it's hard to justify spending 10 times as much for a little more speed."
The Internet

Internet Tax Approved By Louisiana House 305

Stinky Litter Box writes "WWL-TV in New Orleans reports that the Louisiana House voted 81-9 on Thursday to propose that a '15-cent monthly surcharge should be levied on Internet access across Louisiana to fight online criminal activity.' Can you say 'slippery slope?' The good news is that Gov. Jindal opposes such a tax. Full disclosure: I grew up in south Louisiana and worked for WWL-TV in the late '70s."

Anti-Piracy Dog Uncovers Huge Cache of Discs Screenshot-sm 283

sgt scrub writes "I've never thought about sniffing my CDs before buying them but that is all about to change. According to this Yahoo! news article, dogs can be trained to tell the difference between a legit copy of a DVD and one from those pesky pirates. From the article, 'A DVD-sniffing anti-piracy dog named Paddy has uncovered a huge cache of 35,000 discs in Malaysian warehouses, many destined for export to Singapore, industry officials said on Wednesday. Paddy was given to Malaysia by the MPA to help close down piracy syndicates, which churn out vast quantities of illegal DVDs. The dog is specially trained to detect chemicals in the discs.'" We ran a story about anti-piracy dogs being trained in Ireland a few years ago.

Arrington's Web Tablet Nearly Ready For Launch? 140

narramissic writes "The 'dead simple and dirt cheap' touchscreen Web tablet that Michael Arrington of TechCrunch set out to build last July seems to be nearing completion, writes blogger Peter Smith. 'The CrunchPad is a Linux-based touchscreen tablet using a browser-based UI. When you turn the unit on, it boots right into the webkit-based browser. There's a pop-up virtual keyboard for entering URLs and such (you wouldn't want to do any significant typing on it) and scrolling is via swiping the screen. When Arrington first visualized the project he was shooting for a $200 price point, then discovered that a $299 price was more realistic.'"
Operating Systems

64-Bit Slackware Is Alive 164

t0mg writes with this news from the top of "from the Slackware64-current changelog: [tap tap tap]... Is this thing on? ;-) Ready or not, Slackware has now gone 64-bit with an official x86_64 port being maintained in-sync with the regular x86 -current branch. DVDs will be available for purchase from the Slackware store when Slackware 13.0 is released. Many thanks go out to the Slackware team for their help with this branch and a special thank you to Eric Hameleers who did the real heavy lifting re-compiling everything for this architecture, testing, re-testing, and staying in-sync with -current. We've been developing and testing Slackware64 for quite a while. Most of the team is already using Slackware64 on their personal machines, and things are working well enough that it is time to let the community check our work. We'd like to thank the unofficial 64 bit projects for taking up the slack for us for so long so that we could take our time getting everything just right. Without those alternatives, we would have been pressured to get things out before they were really ready."

Australia, UK To Test Vehicle Speed-Limiting Devices 859

nemesisrocks writes "The New South Wales government is set to begin testing a device that will limit the speed of drivers because 'excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving.' Located on the dashboard, it senses a driver's speed with the use of GPS. If the speed of a car goes over the posted legal limit, a warning sounds. If the driver ignores the warning, the device eventually cuts all power to the car because a cut-off switch has been installed between the accelerator and the engine." The Times Online reports that the same system will be tested in the UK this summer for use in taxis and buses.
The Military

Unclean Military Hard Drives Sold On eBay 369

An anonymous reader writes "The Daily Mail reports, 'Highly sensitive details of a US military missile air defense system were found on a second-hand hard drive bought on eBay. The test launch procedures were found on a hard disk for the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) ground to air missile defense system, used to shoot down Scud missiles in Iraq. The disk also contained security policies, blueprints of facilities, and personal information on employees (including social security numbers) belonging to technology company Lockheed Martin — who designed and built the system.' Scary that they did not wipe it to Department of Defense standards, which I believe is wiping the whole disk and then writing 1010 all over it."

Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux 208

theodp writes "Gov. Christine Gregoire applauded Microsoft's job training partnership with WA state and county government agencies, which calls for the distribution of 30,625 training vouchers statewide during the next 90 days. 'This program [Elevate America] is all about equipping people with the new skills they'll need to get a job in the changing economy,' said Microsoft Counsel Brad Smith, who also made it very clear that getting 'workforce ready' won't involve acquiring any Linux skills. At least this offer appears to be no-cost, unlike the $35 Microsoft requested in an e-mail come-on for 'The Stimulus Package for Your Career' (so much for Smith's and Gregoire's war on spam)."

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader