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Government

+ - Dummy birthdates for WW2/Nam vets: Govt IT bungles->

Submitted by teflon_king
teflon_king (1258600) writes "The Australian Dept of Veterans affairs has spent over $37 million implementing a new IT system for veterans. But they didn't get the right birth dates into the system for all the veterans. Over 26 thousand veterans had dummy data inserted as their birth date: 23 Sept 1920 for WWII vets and 23 Sept 1950 for Vietnam vets. A government audit office report has identified the dummy birth dates as well as a range of other problems. This one's worth reading. Just like Million Dollar Baby, when you think it cannot get any worse, it does."
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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Smokin' Hot (or Scary) Cosplaying Gamers->

Submitted by
Parz
Parz writes "Dictionaries define "Cosplay" as the following: Cosplay (kosupure), a contraction of the English words "costume" and "play", is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, and video games, and, less commonly, live action television shows, movies, or Japanese pop music bands. Gameplayer define it as: a nutso bunch of people who, while good hearted and enthusiastic, are largely unfit to don skin tight, revealing clothing. That's speaking generally, of course. You can usually go to a convention nowadays and meet some really cool moderately attractive people who have just suited up for a laugh, or some weirdos who live on the fringe and have no concept of deodorant. Also in rare cases you can sometimes witness a drop dead awesome looking cosplayer — a rare, Halley's Comet of hotness. Featured within are some of the very best, and the very 'blurst' of videogame character dress-ups, coming to a convention near you."
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Education

+ - Australian Govt says no to Linux Netbooks->

Submitted by teflon_king
teflon_king (1258600) writes "So this is a somewhat disappointing. The Australian Government is spending millions across the country to buy laptops/notebooks/netbooks for school kids. The funding is Federal but the education departments are run by each state. So each state gets funding, and they then go out and get tenders to supply the gear. According to this report, the state of NSW did consider Linux netbooks but they have awarded the $150 million contract to Lenovo for netbooks running Windows . Now I can understand a government going through a tender process and making this decision. From the comment by Microsoft's Australian country manager it certainly sounds like Microsoft made them a hot deal on the operating systems. Not surprising really because it's great for future Microsoft OS sales once these kids leave school. However it's disappointing from the perspective that these kids won't have the option of really getting into the nuts and bolts of how an operating system is put together. They won't be learning about the shell and so forth. And of course, they won't have access to all the open options for programming that exist on Linux. And I would guess that the machines are going to be very locked down: do you think they are going to be able to use Firefox or install other open source programs. It just sounds to me that one of the main advantages of getting all these machines in the hands of kids should be about giving them the opportunity to explore programming. It should not just be about giving them access to Web browsers and word processors. It would be an interesting follow up to find that out and especially find out if the machines are also going to be bundled with Microsoft Office — it would certainly be a smart move by Microsoft."
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Operating Systems

+ - Know your Linux history? Try this Linux Quiz->

Submitted by teflon_king
teflon_king (1258600) writes "It's been nearly 20 years since Linux first came on the scene. I remember in the mid-90s picking up a 33Kbps modem — they'd just been released — and downloading a full set of install disks. I went and bought two new packs of 1.44MB floppies to use for the install. I didn't really know what I was doing but I have to tell you I was pretty happy when I'd shuffled my way through the 20+ disks, started up the OS and managed to get a PPP dial-up connection going. Give this Linux quiz a go and it might bring back a few of those memories. At the least it will test just how well you do know Linux!"
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Media

+ - Guardian to close move to Twitter: April Fool?->

Submitted by teflon_king
teflon_king (1258600) writes "Today's April fool joke by the Guardian that the newspaper will close and be replaced by a Twitter service is certainly amusing. However, despite the well-aimed kick at the much-hyped message service, the joke may linger as more a commentary on a newspaper industry under pressure. This is reinforced by the Guardian's recent submission to the UK govt Digital Britain report which has a go at search engines and content aggregators like slashdot."
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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft: Azure aims to build and shape the cloud->

Submitted by
inkslinger77
inkslinger77 writes "Microsoft's new Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism, Gianpaolo Carraro speaks in this article about the software giant's cloud development platform and Microsoft's approach to cloud computing. He mentions Microsoft's plan to support other languages other than .NET, even though the software giant would prefer developers use its own tools. "Obviously, we would like our ecosystem to use our own development tools, technology and languages. We believe that that is the right choice. But if the developers don't agree, we can still give them value from our platform," he said. "We have the specific tooling structure to help you use Azure with .Net, but you can also access it using Java and other means if you choose to." The company also announced recently that it would support PHP."
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IBM

+ - Web apps: IBM to go head-head with MS, Google->

Submitted by teflon_king
teflon_king (1258600) writes "Are we headed for a rerun of the office suite wars of the 1990s, only this time with online/cloud/SaaS/Software-as-a-Service apps? IBM is going to go head-to-head with Google and Microsoft by offering Web apps. IBM hasn't fared well against Microsoft in the past in the software stakes — remember Lotus SmartSuite which include Lotus 123. I didn't even realise you could still buy it: http://www.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/smartsuite/! And of course, don't forget OS/2 vs Windows NT (and Linux). They're certainly not selling OS/2 (Os/2 Warp) anymore.

I think it's a good move though — online apps could level the playing field and provide software suppliers an angle against Microsoft. Do you think we'll be seeing Corel step up to the plate with WordPerfect Office: Software as a Service Web Edition?! They've already put a toe in the water ... well sort of ..."

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Editorial

+ - Games & the Global Financial Crisis->

Submitted by
SlappingOysters
SlappingOysters writes "Gameplayer asks the question: Can video games survive, or even thrive, in the economic downturn? They examine the current sales data, look into the industry's historical dealings with economic problems and investigate the way the tightening of belts is altering the types of games being made and the ways that they are being released. The site then offers Recession Proof Gaming in the form of links to 50 of the best free games."
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Security

+ - Schneier: The cloud is hype, transparency is key->

Submitted by
inkslinger77
inkslinger77 writes "Technology and business has posted an interview with security guru, Bruce Schneier about the security aspects of cloud computing, with mention to the recent Google Docs leak and the suite against them by EPIC. Schneier says that whatever cloud computing is, the security issues and conversations around it are nothing new. The key, he says, always comes down to trust and transparency."
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Software

+ - Business moves most of its software to the cloud->

Submitted by
inkslinger77
inkslinger77 writes "Altium, an International software company, is a massive cloud consumer. Altium's human resources, finance, customer relationship management, data and email are all now hosted via cloud services. The company was apparently the first in the world to use salesforce.com's business platform. Other cloud services used by Altium include Intacct, a new financial assistant based on the cloud; Amazon Web services S3 and EC2 for storage and systems hosting; Attlassian Confluence and Jira for wiki documentation, Intranet, and issue tracking; and Google apps including gmail, Docs, and Calendering. Altium's CIO suggested at a conference last week that IT managers throw away the current notion of their role, which is to maintain the company's systems. Use the cloud to support the systems and the IT department to support the business, he says."
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Social Networks

+ - NASA tries out enterprise-level social networking->

Submitted by
inkslinger77
inkslinger77 writes "A recently released report by NASA bodes well for social networking in business. The agency conducted a pilot run using Soialcast, and wrote an extensive report on the results, basically recommending the agency implement the social networking tool on a permanent basis. This article explores the results of the project and also speaks with Socialcast's founder."
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Data Storage

+ - SSD and flash storage in the enterprise->

Submitted by
inkslinger77
inkslinger77 writes "Microsoft's highly regarded computer science researcher, Jim Gray, was an early advocate of enterprise flash-based storage. Shortly after giving a presentation on the topic over two years ago, Gray went missing after embarking on a solo boating trip from San Francisco in 2007, but his work and research has continued to have its effect on software developers and enterprise users. This article, written by "a database insider" explores Gray's research, and examines whether SSD is enterprise-ready."
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