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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 1 accepted (8 total, 12.50% accepted)

NASA

+ - NASA's Astrobiology department presentation.->

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
" rel="nofollow">GNUALMAFUERTE writes "As we mentioned before NASA's Department of Astrobiology had an important announcement to make today. It looks like Gizmodo was right. You can watch the presentation online right now at href=http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html. It looks like the bacteria in question uses Arsenic as a Phosphorus replacement in its DNA."
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Education

+ - Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling->

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
GNUALMAFUERTE writes "This brave young lady did the absolutely unusual, and in a move that would have made Paulo Freire so proud of her, gave a controversial speak about the flaws of the system.
She is also very self critical, since it is through her experience that she has realized the truths in her speech.

She is not a great speaker, but she has a lot to say. You can hear her speech or read the transcript."

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Ubuntu

+ - Canonical uses windows to develop Ubuntu font->

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
GNUALMAFUERTE writes "Ubuntu has released their own font. This looks like a great effort, except that as a PR stunt, it backfires badly. They designed it ... using windows.

They released a PDF that shows the design process. It includes screenshots of a windows desktop, running a microsoft app for font design.

I am still in shock. No further comments."

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Ubuntu

+ - Is Ubuntu becoming unnecessarily complex? 11

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
GNUALMAFUERTE writes "I am an Slackware guy. I used Slackware for many, many years. I switched to Ubuntu a couple of years ago. I bought a new laptop, I had started developing a system that was meant to run on Ubuntu, and to be honest, I liked the simplicity of apt-get in my laptop. I still run Slackware on all my servers, but I must admit that having most software just a command away is pretty cool. Most if it "just works", and that is certainly magic for someone used to go through 2 hours of dependency hell every time he wanted to install something.

Ubuntu 8.04 was great, but it took me some time to get used to it, and sometimes it didn't feel like Unix. It had its own way of doing things, and customizing things wasn't so simple. Anyway, it was doable, but you had to do it the debian way, and the ubuntu way. Just knowing Unix wasn't enough. Some things seemed unnecessarily complex.

9 added even more tricks, but was still ok.

I recently upgraded many of my systems to 10.04. They decided to change everything again. Ubuntu has become unnecessarily complex. With this upstart crap, they obliterated 30 years of Unix tradition. Many things are so buried behind poorly documented ubuntu-ways of doing things, that you actually have to dig for hours in order to find how something is actually being done.

Yes, it works, and it looks great, and it's a fantastic modern operating system. But it isn't Unix anymore. What used to be accomplished by a simple symlink (and undone by deleting that symlink) has now been replaced by tones of little seemingly isolated shell scripts. They keep changing the way things are done, and implementing new abstraction layers implemented mostly through shellscripting. But they sometimes maintain compat with the original positions of the files you are looking for (Through yet more scripts).

For instance, delete the symlinks to /etc/init.d/gdm from /etc/rc*.d, and gdm will start anyway. Go ahead and delete /etc/init.d/gdm, and gdm will start too. You have to edit /etc/init/gdm.conf. Just renaming it will do no good. Now, the syntax and idea behind this new system are pretty cool, but, are they truly necessary? Yes, we gain a framework to trigger events, and manage service-dependency and load order, but we loose the beautiful simplicity of Unix. Doing things from the CLI is increasingly complex. The simple act of compiling a new kernel requires way too many ubuntu-specific black magic, and you better start with a config copied from an official ubuntu kernel, because userland will just break at just about any modification.

So, I ask Slashdot, do we really need this? Is this moving-away-from-unix trend really necessary? or are we just reinventing the wheel and needlessly alienating old school sysadmins?"
Government

+ - 22 Million missing emails from Bush Administration->

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
GNUALMAFUERTE writes "Twenty-two million missing e-mails from the Bush White House have been found, according to two groups that are settling lawsuits they filed over the issue. A former Bush spokesman, though, dismissed the claim as overblown.

The announcement came from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, both of which were settling lawsuits they filed in 2007 over the failure of the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system. The groups said computer technicians uncovered the missing e-mails.

Meredith Fuchs, general counsel to the National Security Archive, said "many poor choices were made during the Bush administration and there was little concern about the availability of e-mail records despite the fact that they were contending with regular subpoenas for records and had a legal obligation to preserve their records."

"We may never discover the full story of what happened here," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director. "It seems like they just didn't want the e-mails preserved.""

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Power

+ - Cold-fusion demonstration "a success"->

Submitted by
GNUALMAFUERTE
GNUALMAFUERTE writes "Cold fusion, the act of producing a nuclear reaction at room temperature, has long been relegated to science fiction after researchers were unable to recreate the experiment that first "discovered" the phenomenon. But a Japanese scientist was supposedly able to start a cold fusion reaction earlier this week. Read the article at http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/05/coldfusion_demonstration_a_suc_1.html"
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