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Science

Computers Emulate Neanderthal Speech 220

Posted by Zonk
from the borrow-a-cup-of-evolution dept.
Clarence writes "After some 30,000 years of silence, the Neanderthal race is once again speaking thanks to some advanced computer simulation. A Florida Atlantic University professor is using software vocal tract reconstructions to emulate the speech of our long-dead distant relatives. 'He says the ancient human's speech lacked the "quantal vowel" sounds that underlie modern speech. Quantal vowels provide cues that help speakers with different size vocal tracts understand one another, says Robert McCarthy, who was talking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Columbus, Ohio, on April 11. In the 1970s, linguist Phil Lieberman, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, inferred the dimensions of the larynx of a Neanderthal based on its skull. His team concluded that Neanderthal speech did not have the subtlety of modern human speech.'"
Sun Microsystems

+ - Sun releases ODF plugin for MS Office->

Submitted by extra88
extra88 (1003) writes "Heise online reported that Sun has released their OpenDocument Format (ODF) plug-in for Microsoft Office 2000, XP and 2003. The plug-in allows Microsoft Office (for Windows) users to open ODF files and save their work in ODF formats used by OpenOffice, StarOffice, and other programs. According to the ReadMe, the plug-in adds "ODF Text Document (*.odt)" as a format to Word's Open and Save dialogs and adds Import and Export options to Excel and PowerPoint. Support for Excel and PowerPoint in the Microsoft-sponsored OpenXML/ODF Translator Add-in for Office is yet completed and that Add-in supports only Office 2003 and 2007."
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Businesses

+ - The First Thing IT Managers Do in the Morning?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "When I was a wee-little IT Manager, I interviewed for a IT management position at an online CRM provider in San Francisco, a job I certainly was qualified for, at least on paper. One of the interviewer's questions was "What is the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning." I thought saying "Read Slashdot" wouldn't be what he was looking for — so I made up something, I'm sure, equally lame. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. But the question has stuck with me over the years. What do real IT and MIS managers do when they walk in to the office in the morning? What web sites or tools do they look at or use the first thing? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest."
Censorship

+ - UK - 'Extreme' porn proposals spark row

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports on the row over proposals by the UK Government to criminalise possession of "extreme" porn. The bill, published last week, would include fictional depictions of violence and images of acts between consenting adults. The law would also apply to screenshots taken from a legal film, if the screenshot was made for erotic purposes. Backlash opposes the law.

The bill follows from plans initially announced last August."
Music

Day of Silence On the Internet 276

Posted by kdawson
from the silence-speaks-louder-than-tracks dept.
A number of readers sent in stories about Net radio going dark for a day. Not all of it, but according to the Globe and Mail at least 45 stations representing thousands of channels. The stations are protesting a ruling establishing royalty rates that will put most of them out of business on July 15. "The ruling... is expected to cost large webcasters such as Yahoo and Real Networks millions of dollars, drive smaller websites like Pandora.com and Live365.com out of business and leave a large chunk of the 72 million Net radio listeners in the dark." SaveNetRadio has a page where US residents can locate their senators and representatives to call them today.
Intel

+ - Intel Patches Flaws in Processors 4

Submitted by Nom du Keyboard
Nom du Keyboard (633989) writes "According to this article in The Inquirer and this Microsoft Knowledge Base article, a fix for some significant problems in many of Intel's most recent processors, including Core 2 Duo E4000/E6000, Core 2 Quad Q6600, Core 2 Xtreme X6800, XC6700 and XC6800 has been quietly released. Details on just what has been fixed are scanty (it's called a "reliability update"), however, it's probably more important than either Intel, or Microsoft, is openly admitting. Does this give the feeling of a cover-up?"
Displays

+ - Transparent transistors promise bright future->

Submitted by
amigoro
amigoro writes "Researchers have created transparent transistors and circuits using nanotechnology opening up the potential for a broad range of applications, from e-paper and flexible color screens for consumer electronics to "smart cards" and "heads-up" displays in auto windshields, according to findings published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology."
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Privacy

+ - World of Warcraft ELUA contains malware clause->

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Read Section 5 of the WOW EULA (End-User License Agreement) and you might be concerned about allowing Blizzard Entertainment to "monitor" your machine for "unauthorized" third party software. Read Section 11 of the WOW EULA and you might be even more concerned because Blizzard seeks to limit its liability to "the total fees paid ... to Blizzard during the six (6) months prior to the time such claim arose". It remains to be seen whether clauses of this nature are in fact enforceable."
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Wireless Networking

Wireless Networks Causing Headaches For Businesses 187

Posted by kdawson
from the help-desks-needing-help dept.
ElvaWSJ writes "Wi-Fi was supposed to reduce complications, not create new ones. But in many offices Wi-Fi has been a headache. Like all radio signals, Wi-Fi is subject to interference. Its low power — less than even a typical cellphone — means that walls and cabinets can significantly reduce signal strength. Wi-Fi also creates networks that are more open than wired ones, raising security issues. And Wi-Fi has caused problems for virtual private networks. Some VPNs require a lot of processing power. If a wireless access point — at home, at the office, or on the road — isn't robust enough, a user often gets bumped off the connection."
The Courts

+ - UW cooperates with music industry in suing student-> 1

Submitted by
Bomarc
Bomarc writes "From the article: The University of Washington says it will cooperate with the music industry as it tracks down and sues students accused of illegally downloading audio files.

A university official, Eric Godfrey, informed students by e-mail that it will use its computers to identify students and notify them of their settlement options.

The university will forward notices from the Recording Industry Association of America telling them they have about 20 days to settle before going to court.

Settlements range from $3,000 to $5,000."

Link to Original Source
Mandriva

+ - Mandriva CEO says no patent deal with Microsoft->

Submitted by
christian.einfeldt
christian.einfeldt writes "Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon has ruled out a Novell — Linspire — Xandros — type deal with Microsoft. In a 19 June 2007 post, Bancilhon minces no words in expressing his view of the merits of Microsoft's patent claims:

'We also believe what we see, and up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD propagators that Linux and open source applications are in breach of any patents. So we think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty and we can continue working in good faith. So we don't believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone.'
Bancilhon says that this blog entry was posted to lay to rest any rumors that such a deal might be in the offing."

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I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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