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Submission + - Extended TeX: past, present, and future ( 1

Hamburg writes: Frank Mittelbach, member of the LaTeX Project and LaTeX3 developer, reviews significant issues of TeX raised already 20 years ago. Today he evaluates which issues are solved, and which still remain open and why.
Examples issues are managing consecutive hyphens, rivers of vertical spaces and identical words across lines, grid-based design, weighed hyphenation points, and overcoming the the mouth/stomach separation. Modern engines such as pdfTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX are considered in regard to solutions of important problems in typesetting.


GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.

Submission + - H-1B workers are better paid, more educated, study finds (

An anonymous reader writes: H-1B workers are better educated than U.S. born workers, and earn 10% more when the data is adjusted for age, education and occupation, according to a study by two economists at the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California. This study found that, on average, H-1B workers are about 10 years younger than U.S. born workers. The report's findings may challenge the views of H-1B program backers such as Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve. In a column in the Financial Times, Greenspan said that H-1B visa cap restrictions protect "many high earners from skilled migrant competitors." He called the H-1B program "a subsidy for the wealthy," meaning well-paid IT workers.
The Media

Submission + - Judge: RIAA Must Pay Defendant's Legal Fees

evanwired writes: "Debbie Foster, an RIAA file sharing defendant whose case was dismissed last summer, has just won a request for legal fees. Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired's Listening Post blog obtained a copy (PDF) of Judge Lee R. West's Order, issued today, in which the judge grants Foster an award of "reasonable attorney fees in this action under 505 of the Copyright Act," but denies her "attorneys' fees under 28 U.S.C. 1927." Foster's attorney says her client is pleased with the result and will likely recoup $50,000 or more. If she's right, that's an outcome that could have significant consequences for the RIAA's litigation strategy."

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]