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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft struggling to gain endorsement for OOXML->

Submitted by Tri
Tri (60119) writes "The Open Source Industry of Australia (OSIA) has formally contacted Standards Australia, requesting that Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) format not be endorsed by the body as an ISO standard.

  "Quite apart from the technical problems with OOXML, the main problem from OSIA's point of view is a substantive one — the 'standard' is designed so that it can only be implemented by a single vendor", said Brendan Scott, Director of Open Source Industry Australia. "So, while in theory a third party could create an independent implementation, in practice it is very unlikely", he said."

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Announcements

+ - Possible Design Flaw Identified in Bridge Collapse->

Submitted by
Pcol
Pcol writes "The New York Times is reporting that investigators of the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last week have found what may be a design flaw in the gusset plates that connect girders and raises the possibility that the bridge was structurally deficient from the day it opened. Although officials said they were still working to confirm the design flaw, in making their suspicion public, they were signaling that they considered it a potentially crucial discovery. Federal authorities said there was added stress on the gusset plates from the weight of construction equipment and nearly 100 tons of gravel on the bridge, where maintenance work was proceeding when the collapse occurred. A construction crew had removed part of the deck with 45-pound jackhammers, in preparation for replacing the two-inch top layer, and that may have also altered the stresses on the bridge, some experts said. If the engineers who designed the bridge in 1964 miscalculated the loads and used metal parts that were too weak for the job, it would recast the national debate that has emerged, about whether enough attention has been paid to maintenance."
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Sun Microsystems

+ - Sun's CEO talks about its open source strategy-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a wide-ranging interview, C|Net talks in depth with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, about the company's open source strategy. Schwartz indicates that despite (or, rather, because of) open sourcing all of its software, software revenues actually increased in 2006 by 13%. In his words, in order to have sales, Sun (and other vendors) must first have adoption. Open source is an efficient, effective way to drive adoption, and therefore is Sun's strategic differentiator against Microsoft, IBM, and other global competitors. Schwartz also shares his top advice for executives at both open source and proprietary companies, where he learned the power of developers in driving sales, and whether he views Red Hat as a competitor."
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Google

+ - Google mistakes own blog for spam, deletes it->

Submitted by
narramissic
narramissic writes "Oops! They did it again. Google mistakenly identified its own Custom Search Blog as a spam site and handed over the url to the general public, as they typically do when blogs are disabled. Google's process when it identifies a site as spam is to notify the blog owners to give them a chance to clear up any misunderstandings. However, that didn't work out in this case."
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Role Playing (Games)

+ - New Sci-Fi MMOG from Brazil looks promising...->

Submitted by MadMax79
MadMax79 (666) writes "It seems Brazilian start-up Hoplon (http://www.hoplon.com/) has been hard at work for the last 3 or so years creating a futuristic space-age MMOG which now looks very promising. The company has recently been featured in a Brazilian business magazine, and has the support of IBM. Apparently, a beta version of the game is available for those interested in testing. I have to say the graphics look very impressive... Check it out at http://en.taikodom.com/ ..."
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Space

+ - Die-hard Pluto Fans Have New Cause Fro Despair->

Submitted by HaHaHa7129
HaHaHa7129 (215922) writes "AstronomyReport.com tells us that new data shows that the dwarf planet Eris is 27 percent more massive than Pluto, thereby strengthening the decree last year that there are eight planets in the solar system and a growing list of dwarf planets. The new results, obtained with Hubble Space Telescope and Keck Observatory data, indicate that the density of the material making up Eris is about two grams per cubic centimeter. This means that Eris very likely is made up of ice and rock, and thus is very similar in composition to Pluto. Past results from the Hubble Space Telescope had already allowed planetary scientists to determine that its diameter is 2,400 kilometers, also larger than Pluto's."
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PC Games (Games)

+ - Procedural Programming: The Secret behind Spore-> 1

Submitted by
imashoe
imashoe writes "Ever wonder how Spore works under the hood? The game seems to be insanely huge and how is it that there can be an infinite amount of different creates created in the game? The answer is Procedural Programming. Read on to learn what exactly it is and how it differs from the traditional way games are made."
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Power

+ - Untapped Energy Below Us-> 1

Submitted by
EskimoJoe
EskimoJoe writes "BASEL, Switzerland — When tremors started cracking walls and bathroom tiles in this Swiss city on the Rhine, the engineers knew they had a problem. "The glass vases on the shelf rattled, and there was a loud bang," Catherine Wueest, a teashop owner, recalls. "I thought a truck had crashed into the building." But the 3.4 magnitude tremor on the evening of Dec. 8 was no ordinary act of nature: It had been accidentally triggered by engineers drilling deep into the Earth's crust to tap its inner heat and thus break new ground — literally — in the world's search for new sources of energy. On paper, the Basel project looks fairly straightforward: Drill down, shoot cold water into the shaft and bring it up again superheated and capable of generating enough power through a steam turbine to meet the electricity needs of 10,000 households, and heat 2,700 homes. Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment. A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S."
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Education

+ - LinuxWorld: Open Source, Closed Doors 2

Submitted by dualscan337
dualscan337 (1138377) writes "As a long time linux user and enthusiast I thought it was finally time to take the plunge and attend the LinuxWorld Conference next week out in San Francisco. I registered online to get the free Exhibit Hall Pass but this morning I received this email:

"Thank you for your interest LinuxWorld Conference & Expo San
Francisco, August 6-9, 2007.

Unfortunately, as a business-to-business event targeted
exclusively toward enterprise IT professionals, official show
policy prohibits students, and anyone under the age of 18, from
attending this event. Therefore, we must inform you that your
registration to attend LinuxWorld Conference & Expo is not valid
and you will not be permitted on the showfloor."

I'm a graduate student in the physical sciences and I realize that this is a business oriented event.. but what is to gain by maintaining this sort of closed door policy toward students? Let's not forget that a lot of code is contributed by the people they're not allowing inside the door. I have always felt that the power of open source was in the fact that anyone could participate/contribute. I feel that a conference whose slogan is "Open Source Rules — Find out why" and doesn't let me in because I'm a student misrepresents what Linux and Open Source is all about. What does slashdot think? Should I have planned on going to DefCon instead?"
Unix

+ - Open Sound System (OSS4) goes GPLv2->

Submitted by
mrcgran
mrcgran writes "The Open Sound System (OSS) is one of the first sound systems for Linux, predating ALSA, but in the last 10 years it's stalled in version 3.8 (the last public GPL version) and it's being replaced by ALSA as the sound system of choice in Linux. ALSA is a Linux-only solution, while OSS works in a range of Unixes as well, and both have advantages and disadvantages over the other. Now, OSS4 is out under a GPLv2 license, with a number of advanced features over ALSA, like its new dynamic VMIXing capabilities, low-latency kernel modules, simple API and many other features. This release seems to be important enough to shake the foundations of the current desktop sound systems, specially in Linux."
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