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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 20 declined, 6 accepted (26 total, 23.08% accepted)

Sun Microsystems

+ - OpenSolaris 2008.11 is Out

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The newest OpenSolaris 2008.11 release is available for download. Some key features:
  • Includes a Nautilus-Based version of Apple's Time Machine.
  • Updated Software: Songbird 1.0, Firefox 3, Gnome 2.24, OpenOffice 3, Netbeans 6.5, and Eclipse 3.4.
    (Some will require a quick 'pkg install <packagename>'.)
  • Updated Hardware support.
  • A Distribution Constructor: "a command-line tool for building pre-configured, bootable OpenSolaris images. The tool takes an install manifest file as input, and outputs an ISO image that is based on the parameters specified in the manifest"
  • COMSTAR: "Turn any OpenSolaris host into a SCSI target that can be accessed over the network by initiator hosts"

Check out the Release Notes for details. Direct links: LiveCD, BitTorrent."

Data Storage

+ - Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "With the increasing storage and nondecreasing probability of failure on HDDs, ZDNet makes a decent case that RAID 5 won't cut it:

Disk drive capacities double every 18-24 months. We have 1 TB drives now, and in 2009 we'll have 2 TB drives.

With a 7 drive RAID 5 disk failure, you'll have 6 remaining 2 TB drives. As the RAID controller is busily reading through those 6 disks to reconstruct the data from the failed drive, it is almost certain it will see an URE.

So the read fails. And when that happens, you are one unhappy camper. The message "we can't read this RAID volume" travels up the chain of command until an error message is presented on the screen. 12 TB of your carefully protected — you thought! — data is gone. Oh, you didn't back it up to tape? Bummer!

Apparently RAID 6 isn't far behind? I'll keep the ZFS plug short. Go ZFS. There, that was it."

United States

+ - Best Debate Drinking Game->

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The fate of the nation has rarely been so critical as it is this election cycle. Tonight is the first debate, which could tip the scales for the fate of America. This calls for a substantial drinking game. Wonkette provides one of the best. A sample:

Whenever John McCain says "My Friends":
Two drinks (or one shot), poke the breast of the person to your right and smile creepily.

...

When Obama stutters about some foreign-policy trick question probably about Israel:
Get on your knees, look to the East, and do a shot.

"

Link to Original Source
Sun Microsystems

+ - OpenSolaris Indiana Released

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "The Linux-friendly OpenSolaris Indiana has been released! A new, modern package manager and all the goodies of Solaris: ZFS, DTrace, SMF, and Xen on a LiveCD that was designed for Linux users. You know you're a little curious. Quoting:

Why use the OpenSolaris OS you ask? It's pretty simple, you'll find it full of unique features like the new Image Packaging System (IPS), ZFS as the default filesystem, DTrace enabled packages for extreme observability and performance tuning, and many many more. We think you'll be quite happy to came by to take a look!
"
Privacy

+ - You can quit Facebook now.

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Yesterday Facebook announced some probably-insufficient measures to get rid of your account:

On Monday, Facebook modified its help pages to tell people that if they wanted to remove their accounts entirely, they can direct the company by e-mail to have it done. But on Tuesday, representatives of Facebook stopped short of saying the company would introduce a one-step delete account option.

...

The updated Facebook help page now includes the question "How do I delete my account?" The answer: "If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, we can take care of this for you. Keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added."
"
Republicans

+ - Ron Paul Quits

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "From Wonkette:

It is a tragic day for the Ron Paul ReLOVEution or whatever they call it. Late Friday night, Dr. Congressman Ron Paul posted a letter to his fans basically saying it's over, but he will continue talking about his message, and plus it would be completely embarrassing for him if he also lost his congressional seat. Gather the children and vodka so we can mourn the American Revolution that was lost.
"
Music

+ - Sony BMG Dropping DRM

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Sony BMG's planning to drop DRM in it's music. Some will be available the 1st quarter of this year, says BusinessWeek. More interesting is this quote from Salon's Machinest:

Actually, what's happened is quite ironic. It was the industry's own DRM mandates that tied many music-lovers in to Apple's music storefront (we all had iPods, and the only way to buy digital music for the iPod was from Apple).

Now Apple's become too powerful for the labels. They need an alternative distribution channel — they want to get music to our iPods, but they don't want to go through Apple to do it.

The only way to do that is to offer retailers like Amazon the chance to sell songs as plain, unrestricted MP3s, which are iPoddable.
"
Unix

+ - Good fonts for Linux/Unix?-> 2

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Considering that 99% of what I do as a programmer is work with text, I'm more than surprised that we don't see more font work for Linux & Unix systems. The default fonts I get on a modern distro just don't compare to the quality I get with a modern Mac.

As they're not free, does anyone know a good source for buying decent fonts for my Gnome desktop? I'm no cheapskate, and for the same reason I put $$ into a good keyboard and display, I'd happily pay for some good fonts. So my web pages render well, my apps don't all have to use Bitstream Vera, and maybe I could even put out some attractive documents on Staroffice. I'm also no typeographic expert, so a bundle of the same caliber and variety I'd get with one of the big two (Windows, MacOS) would be best.

I can't be the only one who's looking for this stuff. Desktop Unix is getting really usable now, and this seems to be one of the last big missing pieces."

Link to Original Source
Java

+ - Netbeans 6b2 Now Dual Licensed under GPLv2, CDDL->

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Interested in the new Netbeans 6, but didn't trust Sun's (already OSI-approved) CDDL? Sun just Dual-Licensed it under the GPL (v2) with Classpath Exception. Keep your karmic license purity and mix in all the (now compatible) GPL code you want! If you've been using Eclipse, Netbeans 6 is really worth a look. Lean, well-featured, and fast."
Link to Original Source
Wireless (Apple)

+ - Duke's Network Fixed, Cisco's, not iPhone's Fault->

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "Turns out it was a Cisco bug causing problems with the iPhone at Duke. It's been fixed:

The reality is that a particular set of conditions made the Duke wireless network experience some minor and temporary disruptions in service. Those conditions involve our deployment of a very large Cisco-based wireless network that supports multiple network protocols.

Cisco worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of this problem, which was caused by a Cisco-based network issue. Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke's network and there have been no recurrences of the problem since.
"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Terrorist Crypto off of a USB Memory Stick

Submitted by Lally Singh
Lally Singh (3427) writes "It looks like Al Queda and its cronies are getting sophisticated:

"On January 1, 2007, the pro-terrorist group, 'Global Islamic Media Front' (GIMF) announced the 'imminent release' of what they called 'the first Islamic computer program for secure exchange on the Internet.'" ... "The 'Mujahedine Secrets' encryption program offers terrorists and their sympathizers several key features, some of which are common features of PGP programs that are currently available elsewhere as well as other features that appear to be new." ... "Most importantly, this program is an executable application that does not need to be installed onto a PC and can be used with a USB drive." ... "The use of the 'Mujahedine Secrets' on a portable USB drive will offer additional anonymity to those who use the program, which may make it increasingly difficult or even impossible for investigators to track down the source of activity further than the Internet café itself."
Let's hope the good guys can crack it. In the mean time, if you weren't getting heat from the fuzz about using crypto before, get ready."
The Internet

+ - Wikipedia: Small core group, distributed network?

Submitted by Lally Singh

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal

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