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Submission + - Amazon Goes to War Against Oracle (

Sez Zero writes: Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. AWS page

Once again Amazon Web Services is taking on Oracle, the kingpin of relational databases, with Aurora, a relational database it said is as capable as “proprietary database engines at 1/10 the cost,” according to AWS SVP Andy Jassy.

Submission + - Perl 6 Ready for Production in 2015 (

Sez Zero writes: The last pieces are finally falling into place. After years of design and implementation, 2015 will be the year that Perl 6 officially launches for production use.

In this talk at FOSDEM 2015, Larry Wall reflects on the history of the effort, how the team got some things right, and how it learned from its mistakes when it got them wrong. But mostly how a bunch of stubbornly fun-loving people outlasted the naysayers to accomplish the extraordinary task of implementing a language that was so ambitious, even its designers said it was impossible. Prepare to be delightfully surprised.

Submission + - Microsoft Pulls iPhone YouTube videos (

Sez Zero writes: Microsoft’s Windows Phone team posted today a rather cringe-worthy Windows Phone video on YouTube that mocks Apple and its recent iPhone announcement. Titled “A fly on the wall in Cupertino?”, it depicts what some might believe to be Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive in separate meetings to go over the various color options and other features for the iPhone 5c and 5s.

The nearly two minute clip doesn’t follow the same style Windows Phone typically does when making fun of iOS and Android phones. All you see are two “employees” poke fun at the decisions that Cook and Ive make about the next generation iPhone. What makes things awkward is that although you can only see the back of the actors’ head, it appears that Microsoft has got the wrong image of who Cook is — or is it supposed to be Steve Jobs?

Submission + - Boxee to join Samsung (

Sez Zero writes: We’re pleased to announce that the Boxee team will be joining Samsung.

We started on this journey six years ago, and have been at the forefront of the changing TV and video landscape. We believe that over the next few years the video market will change even more than it has in the past few decades.

Joining Samsung means we will be able to work on products that marry the best hardware and software in the TV space, products that will be used by tens of millions of people and will help to shape the future of TV.

We are excited about the next chapter for our team.


Submission + - Curiosity uses Brush; almost Hammer Time! (

Sez Zero writes: Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has used its brush tool for the first time to sweep dust off the surface of a rock. Brushing away the dust gives the robot's survey instruments a clearer view of the texture and chemistry of the underlying rock.

Curiosity is building towards using its hammer-drill, the last major tool yet to be deployed on the mission.

Submission + - Disney Buys Lucasfilm Ltd; new Star Wars in 2015 (

Sez Zero writes: Not only did the news break today that the Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion, but the studio press release also announces that a Star Wars: Episode VII feature film is targeted for a 2015 release! Yes, 2015 will give us The Avengers 2, Justice League of America and now a new Star Wars movie!

Submission + - Software Engineer is 2012 Best Job, according to CareerCast (

Sez Zero writes: CareerCast gathered mounds of data and sorted through all of the factors to break each element into five key categories: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook. Jobs receive a score in each individual category, and when these are added together, the career with the best overall score is ranked 1st, while the one with the worst overall score is ranked 200th.

Which one came out on top? A job this crowd might be familiar with...

Submission + - Study Shows Alcohol Buzz Prompts Intuitive Insights (

Sez Zero writes: A moderate alcoholic high loosens a person’s focus of attention, making it easier to find connections among remotely related ideas, Andrew Jarosz of the University of Illinois at Chicago and his colleagues propose online January 28 in Consciousness and Cognition.

On average, participants at peak intoxication solved about nine problems correctly, versus approximately six winners for the sober crowd. It took an average of 11.5 seconds for intoxicated men to generate a correct solution, compared with 15.2 seconds for sober men.


Submission + - 7-inch Google Tablet Coming From ASUS (

Sez Zero writes: Google and ASUS have been collaborating on a co-branded 7-inch Android tablet, with a launch as early as May, according to sources, challenging low-cost rivals and the iPad with a $199-249 price tag. The fruits of the partnership, whispered to the runes readers at DigiTimes by industry sources, will take on the NOOK Tablet and the Kindle Fire, with ASUS selected for its willingness to flex to Google’s requirements.

Submission + - Debit Card Outrage Takes Down BofA Site (

Sez Zero writes:

Bank of America Corp plans to charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases a $5 monthly fee beginning early next year, joining other banks scrambling for new sources of revenue. Senator Richard Durbin, architect of debit card interchange fee reform, bashed the proposed monthly fee. "Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers," he said in a statement. It's overt, unfair, and I hope their customers have the final say."

This morning, it looks like Bank of America's website is down.


Submission + - Russian space freighter lost (

Sez Zero writes: An unmanned freighter launched to the International Space Station (ISS) has been lost.

The Russian space agency has confirmed the Progress M-12M cargo ship was not placed in the correct orbit by its rocket and fell back to Earth.

The vessel was carrying 2.5 tonnes of supplies for the ISS astronauts.

With the retirement of the US space shuttle, there is now a critical reliance on the robotic freighters to keep the station supplied.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.