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Linux

+ - German government offers formal opinion on secure boot->

Submitted by cheros
cheros (223479) writes "The German government published a white paper on Trusted Computing and Secure Boot which puts somewhat of a stake through any attempt to lock up a platform. As it contains chapters such as "Complete control by device owners" and "Freedom to decide" I reckon the gist of the paper is quite clear.

Also, because it is an official government paper I suspect you are in effect reading the general stance on the subject. This wouldn't surprise me, as the German government has shown itself to be an intelligent user of Open Source in the past by sponsoring projects it intended to use itself such as GPG and other, more local projects (I could mention Munich, but I'm sure you heard of that by now).

So, in short, if the purpose of Secure Boot was lock in, it appears the German Government is telling Microsoft that it doesn't find that acceptable.."

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Google

+ - Google doesn't support OpenDocument Format->

Submitted by
rysiek
rysiek writes "After killing off support for old Microsoft formats, Google apparently decided to turn against OpenDocument Format (used by LibreOffice, OpenOffice and many other office suites).

The support for ODF is lacking from Chromebooks, Android phones, Google Drive and QuickOffice. However, Microsoft's controversial OOXML seems to be supported well."

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AMD

+ - AMD's Hondo Z-Series APU Challenges Intel's Atom In Windows 8 Tablet Market->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "AMD is launching its first tablet-optimized APU today, in a bid to challenge Intel's de facto dominance of the Windows 8 tablet market. Code named Hondo, AMD's new Z-60 SoC draws less power than any Brazos-based part AMD has launched before. Hondo is a new spin on the original Brazos design. AMD took its first-generation APU and removed all the I/O blocks that a tablet wouldn't need, and optimized the chip's layout to target an even lower thermal dissipation envelope. Re-architecting the chip has paid off. Hondo pairs a dual-core 1GHz Bobcat processor with an 80-core Radeon GPU at 276MHz. Video decoding is handled by UVD3, and the chip is powerful enough to handle 720P decode seamlessly. Power consumption, however, is much improved. The original Bobcat had a 9W TDP, Desna managed 5.9W, and Hondo comes in at 4.79W, tops. AMD's documentation implies that consumers should see a real-world TDP of 3.9 — 4.5W."
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AMD

+ - As AMD stuggles, Intel CPU prices stagnate->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."
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AMD

+ - AMD Trinity A-Series Desktop APUs Reviewed->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Desktop APUs based on the Trinity architecture from AMD are finally out after months of availability in the mobile markets. PC Perspective has reviewed both the A10-5800K and A10-5600K with some interesting results that start with a positive showing in the integrated graphics department where the design was expected to win out. It does so, by a noticeable margin in many cases over the HD 3000/4000 of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. The CPU results aren't as positive though with the combination of higher clocks and the new Piledriver core design only equating to ~20% better performance compared to Llano. With prices starting in the $125 range, the A10 APU should be an interesting choice for HTPC and super low cost gaming builds but will fall well behind Intel's x86 performance in Ivy Bridge."
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Android

+ - Sony Ericsson to allow xperia bootloader unlcock->

Submitted by teh31337one
teh31337one (1590023) writes "While Motorola and even HTC are busy locking down their phones, it's refreshing to see that Sony Erricsson will allow their upcoming xperia devices to be unlocked. There are a few conditions. like your phone not being SIM-locked to a carrier, and the bootloader can be unlocked by connect your device to the Fastboot tool in the Android SDK.

Suddenly the Xperia Play looks a lot more appealing."

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Government

+ - RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-> 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-sharing cases:

Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers.

Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry.

ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/riaa-lobbyist-becomes-federal-judge-rules-on-file-sharing-cases.ars"

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Games

+ - Ryzom releases native Linux client-> 1

Submitted by biking42
biking42 (1437037) writes "The MMORPG Ryzom, in addition to Open Sourcing the core server code last spring, has released a native Linux client. No more messing with Wine and settling with no sound or 3fps. You can also download the client source and compile it yourself. A dev Wiki and Forums can be found at: http://dev.ryzom.com/ for both the client AND core server source code.

In addition, for new game accounts they just went F2P. No store or micropayment items yet — just some restrictions on the free accounts. Read about it at the main site: http://www.ryzom.com/"

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Programming

+ - ISO C++ Committee Approves C++0x Final Draft ->

Submitted by Randyll
Randyll (1914386) writes "On the 25th, in Madrid, Spain, the ISO C++ committee approved a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) for the C++ programming language. This means that the proposed changes to the new standard so far known as C++0x are now final. The finalization of the standard itself, i.e. updating the working draft and transmitting the final draft to ITTF, is due to be completed during the summer, after which the standard is going to be published, to be known as C++ 2011. With the previous ISO C++ standard dating back to 2003 and C++0x having been for over eight years in development, the implementation of the standard is already well underway in the GCC and Visual C++ compilers. Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, maintains a handy FAQ of the new standard."
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Books

+ - Crime Writer Makes a Killing with 99 Cent eBooks

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Joe Konrath has an interesting interview with independent writer John Locke who currently holds the coveted #1 spot in the Amazon Top 100 and has sold just over 350,000 downloads on Kindle of his 99 cent books since January 1st of this year which with a royalty rate of 35%, is an annual income well over $500k. Locke says that 99 cents is the magic number and adds that when he lowered the price of his book "The List" from $2.99 to 99 cents, he started selling 20 times as many copies — about 800 a day, turning his loss lead into his biggest earner. "These days the buying public looks at a $9.95 eBook and pauses. It’s not an automatic sale," says Locke. "And the reason it’s not is because the buyer knows when an eBook is priced ten times higher than it has to be. And so the buyer pauses. And it is in this pause—this golden, sweet-scented pause—that we independent authors gain the advantage, because we offer incredible value." Kevin Kelly predicts that within 5 years all digital books will cost 99 cents. "I don't think publishers are ready for how low book prices will go," writes Kelly. "It seems insane, dangerous, life threatening, but inevitable.""
Microsoft

+ - Windows users at risk of video file attacks ->

Submitted by
jbrodkin
jbrodkin writes "Microsoft warned users that a newly discovered Windows Media flaw could let hackers take over their PCs by tricking users into opening specially crafted video files. The video file vulnerability was rated critical in Microsoft's latest Patch Tuesday security announcement, and is "somewhat trivial for attackers to exploit," according to Symantec. The flaw "allows attackers to skip a few of the traditional steps needed to get malicious code to execute on a targeted computer." Microsoft has had to change the way library files and Windows media files are opened in order to prevent future attacks."
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"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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