Phrogger writes: NASA launched the Viking Lander in 1975. This ambitious project was the first to successfully reach and photograph the surface of Mars. The public domain data was stored magnetic tapes, state of the art at the time but discovered to be deteriorating in the '90's. Even though the data was transferred to CD's, it's in a now inaccessible proprietary format that even NASA itself can't decode. Now "a small, pioneering, Canadian software studio" Cartesian Theatre, which is developing Avaneya , a GPL game for Linux, has reverse-engineered this format and released Avaneya: Viking Landing Remastered with the 14 gig historic mission data set on the DVD.
Their original purpose was "initially intended as an internal research tool to facilitate the studio's need for reference material to assist in the production of lucid and highly realistic virtual environments for its ambitious upcoming cerebral science fiction game title, Avaneya . Public interest, however, inspired the studio to consider the data recovery challenge in a different light – as a creative opportunity to leverage crowd sourcing to offset costly research and development of the game, as well as in the direct interest of the general public."
Phrogger writes: " Lamlaw reports on what we as individuals can do to help unravel the patent licensing agreement between Microsoft and Novell/Xandros/Linspire. In short, ask Novell/Xandros/Linspire for the relevant patent numbers.
From the fine article:
"If you do not have a patent number, you do not have a patent. And if you do not provide the patent number neither can you sue someone for having violated it, You do not have one. The patent number is a key piece of information. So, your job if you accept it, is to ask those vendors you may otherwise be interested in to detail for you just which patents apply to which of their products. You know, like you pick up a device off of the table and low and behold there is a big number on the bottom, right? You want to see the number. They have to know the number, right? Otherwise, what are they selling? Snake oil?""
Phrogger writes: "Google has finally released a long-awaited native Linux application: Google Desktop for Linux. As with the already shipping OS X and Windows versions, Google Desktop enables Linux users to search for text inside documents, local email messages, their Web history, and their Gmail accounts."