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Gates' Replacement says Microsoft Must Simplify 405

Posted by Hemos
from the planning-the-future dept.
Javaman59 writes "This article in The Australian newspaper describes the background and the agenda of Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates' replacement as chief architect at Microsoft. The creator of Lotus Notes, he's a high-calibre technologist. From the article: 'Ray's a programmer's programmer .. He's much closer to an uber-engineer, whereas Bill hasn't been a programmer for a number of years.' Ozzie is also driving Microsoft to simplify its software: 'Complexity kills .. It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security challenges, and it causes end-user and administrator frustration.' He's not the only brilliant programmer in the world, but he does have Microsoft's resources behind him."

Microsoft's Mundie to Continue OSS Outreach 244

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-much-excitement-for-one-guy dept.
Techie writes "In an interview with eWeek Craig Mundie, Microsoft's new co-head-honcho and chief research and strategy officer, says he plans to continue to push the Redmond software titan forward with its goal of greater interoperability with software licensed under the GPL." From the article: "Even in Bill's own public remarks, he pointed out that he thought his iconic status and the way that was reported tended to overemphasize his role in the company's innovation and execution. This is really a transition that has been in the works for a couple of years, with a couple to go before, and we will see the emergence of a lot of great talent that has today been portrayed as all Bill. This is a company with, in many cases, the best people in the world. "

Trojan Asteroids Found In Neptunian Orbit 44

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-for-falling-objects dept.
Agent Provocateur writes to mention a release at Science Daily about three rogue asteroids discovered by the Carnegie Institute. The objects are in about the same orbit as Neptune, lending evidence that the planet has a cloud of these 'Trojan' celestial bodies. From the article: "Trojan asteroids cluster around one of two points that lead or trail the planet by about 60 degrees in its orbit, known as Lagrangian points. In these areas, the gravitational pull of the planet and the Sun combine to lock the asteroids into stable orbits synchronized with the planet. German Astronomer Max Wolf identified the first Jupiter Trojan in 1906, and since then, more than 1800 such asteroids have been identified marching along that planet's orbit. "

Bill Gates to Step Down from Microsoft 742

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-sure-you-have-more-to-say-than-i dept.
Geoffreyerffoeg writes "According to Microsoft PressPass, Bill Gates will be leaving his role at Microsoft in July 2008. He'll be staying with the company, but is also moving to a more fulltime position with the Gates Foundation. 'Microsoft Corp. today announced that effective July 2008 Bill Gates, chairman, will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates' daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company's chairman and an adviser on key development projects.' CTO Ray Ozzie will assume Gates' role of Chief Software Architect, and CTO Craig Mundie will also take on more leadership responsibility."

Microsoft Says Vista Most Secure OS Ever 440

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-evar dept.
darryl24 writes "Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia opened up TechEd 2006 in Boston Sunday evening by proclaiming that Windows Vista was the most secure operating system in the industry. But a bold statement can only go so far, and much of this week's conference has been spent reinforcing that point. Microsoft also acknowledges that nothing is infallible when it comes to computer security. In turn, the company has employed black hat hackers for what is called a penetration, or pen, test team."

Python-to-C++ Compiler 181

Posted by timothy
from the calibrate-your-scales dept.
Mark Dufour writes "Shed Skin is an experimental Python-to-C++ compiler. It accepts pure, but implicitly statically typed, Python programs, and generates optimized C++ code. This means that, in combination with a C++ compiler, it allows for translation of pure Python programs into highly efficient machine language. For a set of 16 non-trivial test programs, measurements show a typical speedup of 2-40 over Psyco, about 12 on average, and 2-220 over CPython, about 45 on average. Shed Skin also outputs annotated source code."

Scientists Respond to Gore on Global Warming 1496

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the climatologist-pit-fighting dept.
ArthurDent writes "For quite a while global warming has been presented in the public forum as a universally accepted scientific reality. However, in the light of Al Gore's new film An Inconvenient Truth many climate experts are stepping forward and pointing out that there is no conclusive evidence to support global warming as a phenomenon, much less any particular cause of it."

FreeBSD 6.1 Released 227

Posted by Zonk
from the get-it-while-its-hot dept.
nbritton writes "FreeBSD 6.1 has been released! This release is the next step in the development of the 6.X branch, delivering several performance improvements, many bugfixes, and a few new features. Of note are the major improvements to the filesystem and SATA code, possibly making FreeBSD the number one choice for SATA RAID implementations. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the release notes, errata list, Bittorrent Downloads, Mirrors, Hardware Notes, and Installation Guide."

Urging Congress to Cancel the Ethanol Tariff 569

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the falling-on-deaf-ears dept.
reporter writes "The Wall Street Journal is urging Washington to discard the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. This tariff is effectively a subsidy for corn-based ethanol produced in the USA. Yet, producing ethanol from corn is highly inefficient and consumes 1 unit of energy for each 1.3 units of energy that burning ethanol provides. By contrast, ethanol derived from sugarcane (which is the sole source of ethanol in Brazil) yields 8.3 units of energy. Sugercane is about 7 times more efficient than corn. Some studies even show that corn yields only 0.8 unit of energy, resulting in a net loss of energy."

FOSS Is Not Free if It's Not Free From Complexity 523

Posted by Hemos
from the pomp-and-circumstance dept.
A reader writes:"This article argues that freedom from complexity is an essential part of the first FOSS freedom - the freedom to run a program. Freedom to run means nothing if the exercise of such right excludes people who do not possess high technical knowledge or advanced skills sets. Without the guarantee of "ease of use", the freedom to run FOSS for most users is a hollow promise. " (My own bias ensues here): I think that there are some valuable points in here; what good is a good if it cannot be used, but OTOH this argument seems simplistic.

Lego to Open Mindstorms NXT Firmware 138

Posted by Hemos
from the arise-from-your-grave-oh-plastic-brick dept.
ajdlinux writes "LEGO has officially announced that the firmware for the Mindstorms NXT will be open source. They will be releasing several developer kits and the firmware source during August, the kits containing the NXT driver specs, the schematics for the hardware connection and the Bluetooth protocol used by the NXT. The NXT will be only US$250, which is only slightly more expensive than the Mindstorms RIS2 kit. I certainly can't wait. " We had covered the earlier announcement of this kit.

Phishers Get Phoney 236

Posted by Zonk
from the punlarious dept.
Nick Johnson writes to mention a new twist on phishing. From the article: "The spammed message warns of a problem with a bank account and instructs the recipient to dial a phone number to resolve it. The caller is connected to a voice response system that is made to sound exactly like the bank's own system. The phone system identifies itself to the target as the financial institution and prompts them to enter account number and PIN."

Wal-mart's Wikipedia War 778

Posted by Zonk
from the wewwy-inwestingw dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Whitedust is running an article which claims that lobbyists for Wal-mart have successfully waged a war against a fair viewpoint on Wikipedia's Wal-mart page. From the article: "Although Wikipedia maintains a 'Neutral Point of View' (NPOV) policy, the Wal-mart page is highly biased. Additionally, all criticism has, contrary to policy, practice, and the general opinion of those concerned, been moved to a Debates Over Wal-mart section. Even that page has noticeable resistance to negative points of view about Wal-mart."

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