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Submission + - Dennis Ritchie has died. (google.com)

yorugua writes: As a long time Unix user, I'm suddenly out of words for this loss in the Tech World. RIP Dennis, and my condolences to his family.
United States

Submission + - Graduate students being warned away from leak (arabist.net)

IamTheRealMike writes: The US State Dept has started to warn potential recruits from universities not to read leaked cables, lest it jeopardise their chances of getting a job. They're also showing warnings to troops who access news websites and the Library of Congress and Department of Education have blocked WikiLeaks on their own networks. Quite what happens when these employees go home is an open question.

Breaking Open the Video Frontier, Despite MPEG-LA 66

JimLynch writes "Did you know that nearly every video produced for Web viewing has been, at one point or another, in MPEG format no matter in what format the video is ultimately saved? According to Chris 'Monty' Montgomery, nearly every consumer device outputs video in MPEG format. Which means that every software video decoder has to have MPEG-licensed technology in order to process/edit video." An interesting snippet: "But there's hope on the horizon. Besides the codecs and formats from the Xiph.Org Foundation, the new WebM format announced by Google in May will ideally provide consumers and developers with another alternative. Montgomery has thrown Xiph.Org support behind WebM, because Google's financial muscle (not to mention their free license) will have a real chance to break the hold MPEG-LA has on the market."
Data Storage

Submission + - 'Limited Edition' SSD has fastest storage speed (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: The idea of having a "Limited Edition" solid state drive might seem counter intuitive but regardless of the naming, the new OCZ Vertex LE is based on the new Sandforce SSD controller that promises significant increases in performance, along with improved ability to detect and correct errors in the data stored in flash. While the initial Sandforce drive was called the "Vertex 2 Pro" and included a super-capacitor for data integrity the Vertex LE drops that feature to improve cost efficiency. In PC Perspective's performance tests the drive was able to best the Intel X25-M line in file creation and copying duties, had minimal fragmentation or slow down effects and was very competitive in IOs per second as well. It seems that current SSD manufacturers are all targeting Intel and the new Sandforce controller is likely the first to be up to the challenge.

Submission + - Nokia and Intel merge high-end Linux software

oxide7 writes: Nokia, the world's biggest maker of mobile handsets, will merge its Linux Maemo software platform, used in its flagship N900 phone, with Intel's Moblin, which is also based on Linux open-sourced software. "This makes a good challenger to (Google's) Android (operating system), allowing the platform to go across devices and making it much more appealing for developers," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Solutions For More Community At Work? 205

CrunkCreeper writes "I work at a tier-2 hosting company (SAP, web servers, Citrix, databases, etc.). I started working at this location two years ago in January. The company had anywhere from 20-30 other employees, and now we are just over 100. People with all different IT experience are employed. At one end of the spectrum, you have accounting, billing, and sales. At the other end you have the help desk, analysts, and engineers. In the past we were hiring mainly people in their 20s, and now we're hiring more senior people in their 30s and 40s. Incidentally with our expanded demographic and recently aggressive hiring, people are not as familiar with each other as they used to be. This happens to some extent and will continue to happen more the larger our company grows, but I would like to curb the corporate feel a bit. I'm trying to bring family or community feel back to the company. The reason for this need is that great ideas are normally discussed in non-formal environments. Beside this fact, I want people to genuinely have more fun and decrease the sometimes uncomfortable discussions with 'that guy' from 'that department.' Being an IT company, I find it more natural for collaboration via computer, but welcome more traditional methods too. How does your company keep or build a community environment using technology?" Read on for some more on how it works at CrunkCreeper's workplace, and give suggestions for how to make things better.

Comment Re:Nokia N900 win (Score 0) 198

I've delt with Nokia support for faulty handheld phones from them and I've delt with Apple.
Nokia is now blacklisted for me, they will never ever ever see a cent of my money, ever again. I don't care if god personally endorses their next phone.

Comment Re:This has its perks (Score 1) 374

It could be that the cost of transporting an invasion fleet great distances could be much less for a sufficiently advanced civilization.

But in that case the cost of the alternatives - building an artificial planet, terraforming an existing one or whatever - would also be lower.

My understanding is that terraforming is cheaper than interstellar travel (although, of course, neither option comes "cheap"). As I said, the odds are, even if they did have the resources to make such a trip, they could almost certainly get resources closer to home.

The only way I really see it as reasonable is if they have some kind of expansionist agenda. If that was the case, though, one would hope that we would've seen them coming before they actually contacted us.

Comment Re:Flawed study... (Score 1) 406

Yes, I know that, but that's what I've heard many people suggesting. Really, really wrong.

Truthfully, though, even taking the next exit and finding a parking lot will increase the crash rate significantly. If more than 4 out of 5 wrecks are ramp-related wrecks, assuming that the rate of ramp-related accidents is proportional to the number of times people actually take those ramps (and there's every reason to believe that this is the case), if you doubled the number of times an average person enters or exits the highway, you should expect about 6 million additional automobile accidents per year in the U.S. alone....

The best way to make roads safer, then, is to stop worrying about what drivers do and make the stupid on-ramps twice as long. I suspect it would probably reduce the traffic accident rate by a good 30-40% if we extended every on-ramp in the U.S. to at least a quarter mile for accelerating and merging. Mandating lane change warning systems for large trucks would be another significant win (financially, if not in terms of the number of accidents).

Comment Re:Phenomenal (Score 1) 1713

I've not seen 768 lines on a sub 10" netbook, and certainly not on any netbook under $500 unless it was subsidized below that point by a $60/month data plan contract for a 2 year commitment.

1024x600 is not sufficient. I tried. I got by in 1024x768 for years. 768 wide is not bad either since it auto scales, and very few sites are designed for wider than 800 pixels. (there are a few, but then those are also designed for a lot more than 700 lines vertical too...

the point however was not the resolution, it was the experience, fluidity, rotation, and more. A netbook MIGHT have a better resolution screen (though certainly not IPS response and color in this price class), but netbooks don;t do portrait, weigh more, have more limited batteries, and don't do HDTV (in this price class).

Will it replace all uses for a netbook, hell no. It replaces 70% of the reason though, and likely half the users could easily exchange an iPad for 100% of their needs in this class. That's tens of millions of devices per year, and they're hoping to sell 4 million atm...

Comment Re:A word of thanks and a request (Score 4, Interesting) 368

Mod parent up! :)

Seriously, people here love to talk about how the "new economy" makes it possible to remove "artificial scarcity" and make it so everything is free.

What these people ignore is that, even if it costs no money to copy something, it still costs money to create something. There is still, in this "new economy", the very real economics that the majority of content people use (Computer programs, movies, music, television programs, written articles, etc.) is content that would not exist if someone wasn't being paid to make it.

I enjoy reading all of the articles on the New York Times' front page every morning, and understand I soon may need to pay for the privilege of reading the quality journalism and writing the the NYT offers.

Now, I'm sure someone will point to open source software and say "Mr. MaraDNS, you don't know about open source software and how this proves that we can have all the compelling content we want for free in the 'new economy'". I will point out to people who think like this that I am, in fact, a developer of open-source software.

People who think open-source software (OSS) makes it possible for all content to be free don't understand how OSS changes the relationship between the developer and the user. A lot of people think an OSS program is like a commercial program, but free, and that they can ask for features or get support for free, and it gets pretty tiring to have people email me asking for free support, even though I make it clear that I don't provide free email support for my program.

The thinking behind OSS is that I donate some of my coding time and effort to the greater community. In return, people are free to contribute bug fixes or improvements to the program, or supply support on the mailing list. For example, someone wanted better IPv6 support, supplied patches, and now MaraDNS has good IPv6 support. Another person wanted better Windows service support, and supplied patches to make MaraDNS' new recursive core be a full Windows service. Other people answer user's questions on the mailing list or translate documentation. Webconquest very generously provides me a free Linux shell account and hosting for the web site.

Likewise, I found an OSS Doom random generator I liked and provided bug fixes and improvements to it; when I lost interest in it, another person became the maintainer and improvements continue to be made even though I no longer work on that code. And, there is a Free Windows Civilization clone for Windows which I have provided a bug fix and extended the documentation with.

OSS doesn't mean we have the right to demand all content be free or are justified in pirating media and software. OSS means that we can, together, make free content which complements the for-pay content out there.

Comment Re:I'll stay in my sofa (Score 1) 376

This is the situation I've found myself in after damaging my ankle last year. It put me out of commission for a significant amount of time, and I've been pretty much sedentary for the past 12 months. I'm not obviously fat, and in fact my weight has dropped as I've lost muscle mass (I'm thin to start with, making this weight loss a *bad* thing). I also eat healthy, so I'm not gaining a lot of fat, but my fat/lean ratio has definitely gotten worse.

Comment Re:Brought it on yourself (Score 2, Insightful) 393

I have a 32 bit processor on a 32 bit motherboard and 2GB of DDR2.

Why in fucks name would I want 64 bit OS to do the same thing as I can do with a 32 bit OS, and mores to the point, why do *I* deserve crappy code written by someone else ?

You don't *have* to upgrade just because "it's the latest thing". And saying 64 bit is somehow better when it can't even run the same legacy code that 32 bit still can is hardly a valid reason to upgrade. (The fact that some of that legacy code is vulnerable is beside the point).

Comment Re:How do we know it's not already in use? (Score 1) 393

It looks like the NSA may have had a backdoor to Windows since the mid 90s. They don't need other exploits if they've built in their own.

From the article written in 1999:

Dr Nicko van Someren reported at last year's Crypto 98 conference that he had disassembled the ADVADPI driver. He found it contained two different keys. One was used by Microsoft to control the cryptographic functions enabled in Windows, in compliance with US export regulations. But the reason for building in a second key, or who owned it, remained a mystery.

Two weeks ago, a US security company came up with conclusive evidence that the second key belongs to NSA. Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5. He found that Microsoft's developers had failed to remove or "strip" the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called "KEY". The other was called "NSAKEY".

Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to "Advances in Cryptology, Crypto'99" conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the "NSA" key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users' knowledge.

The NSA has also been "helping" Windows' security development since then as well.

I always thought that was one of China's motivations for Red Flag linux: take out the U.S's backdoor and put in their own. Red Flag first appeared in 1999, the same year that this speculation of the NSA backdoor began.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.