wayne writes "Microsoft has now put the SenderID patents under the OSP. The Open Specification Promise was discussed on slashdot before in conjunction with web services and it is good to see that they are opening up even more. There are still technical problems with SenderID compared with SPF and, of course, SPF isn't problem free. Still, over the last year, the number of SPF records has more than doubled from around 1.7 million to 4.1 million, with rate of growth increased in the last 6 months."
A number of readers alerted us to the [link removed] day-early [accidental] posting of Firefox version 2.0. At this writing the top page at mozilla.com still doesn't mention its availability. One reader pointed us to [link removed] a mirror and another recommended a comprehensive review of Firefox 2.0, with many screenshots, over at mozillalinks.org. Update by RM: - links above removed at request of Mozilla release people. They asked us to link to this note instead. They're only asking us to wait until Tuesday Afternoon (U.S. Pacific Time) for the official 2.0 download, which isn't long. (Patience is a virtue, etc.)
rs232 writes sent us some choice quotes in the finger pointing over the iPod's that recently shipped with a virus on them. "It's not a matter of which platform the virus originated [on]. The fact that it's found on the portable player means that there's an issue with how the quality checks, specifically the content check, was done," Poon wrote in a blog entry. and "Steve, if you need someone to advise on how to improve your quality checks, feel free to contact me 8)."
frank_tudor asks: "I am graduate student and work as a web developer. I am also getting a divorce and I have a son caught in the middle. I believe my profession had a part in it. For my graduate thesis I am writing a paper about Dads who work in the computer industry, divorce and custody. I think our industry causes a high rate of divorce but I need some help from the Slashdot community. My questions are: How many of you computer Dads have also gone through divorce and have retained either half or full custody of your children? Do you think your job had something to do with it? What were some of your hardest challenges and are your kids happy?"
writes "According to WorldNetDaily, Youtube is engaging in censorship. A quote from the article summarizes well: The popular video-sharing YouTube site, which is being purchased by Google for $1.65 billion, limited access to a political ad that mocks the Clinton administration's policy on North Korea, but contains no profanity, nudity or other factors generally thought objectionable." It's also worth pointing out that WorldNetDaily could be described as just wee bit conservative
[TheBORG] writes "The U.S. military has been testing software on laptops that translate English to Arabic and Arabic to English to have conversations with Iraqis without the need to have a Arabic linguist on hand. 'This year the military's Joint Forces Command has been testing laptops with such software in Iraq. When someone speaks into a microphone attached to the computer, the machine translates it into Arabic and reads that translation aloud over the PC's speakers. The software then translates the Arabic speaker's response and utters it in English.'" (See this related story from last year about this daunting machine-translation task.)
NiK0laI writes "TechWeb has posted an article regarding Vista's new license and how it allows you to only move it to another device once. How will this work for people who build their PCs? I have no intention of purchasing a new license every time I swap out motherboards. 'The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device," reads the license for Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Business. In other words, once a retail copy of Vista is installed on a PC, it can be moved to another system only once. ... Elsewhere in the license, Microsoft forbids users from installing Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in a virtual machine. "You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system," the legal language reads. Vista Ultimate and Vista Business, however, can be installed within a VM.'" Overly Critical Guy points out more information about changes to Vista's EULA and the new usage restrictions. "For instance, Home Basic users can't copy ISOs to their hard drives, can't run in a virtualized environment, and can only share files and printers to a maximum of 5 network devices."
theefer writes "Qualcomm announced that future versions of Eudora will be based upon the same technology platform as the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email program. Future versions of Eudora will be free and open source, while retaining Eudora's uniquely rich feature set and productivity enhancements. Qualcomm and Mozilla will each participate in, and continue to foster development communities based around the open source Mozilla project, with a view to enhancing the capabilities and ease of use of both Eudora and Thunderbird. [...] The open source version of Eudora is targeted to release during the first half of calendar year 2007. Once the open source version of Eudora is released, Qualcomm will cease to sell Eudora commercially."
ScentCone writes "North Korea says that it has conducted its first nuclear weapons test and 'brought happiness to its people.' Japan and China earlier issued an unusual joint statement saying that such a test would be 'unacceptable.' As of 11:10PM EST, the USGS says that it has not detected any unusual seismic activity on the Korean peninsula in the last 48 hours." From the article: "The North said last week it would conduct a test, sparking regional concern and frantic diplomatic efforts aimed at dissuading Pyongyang from such a move. North Korea has long claimed to have nuclear weapons, but had never before performed a known test to prove its arsenal. The nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, Yonhap reported, citing defense officials." Update: 10/09 05:50 GMT by J : The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.2 magnitude quake; South Korean news is reporting a 3.58 magnitude event; the White House apparently confirms a nuclear test.
uncleO writes "The current issue of Scientific American has an interesting article, Impact from the Deep, about the possible causes for the five major global extinctions. It contends that only the most recent one was caused by a 'dinosaur killer' asteroid impact. Evidence suggests that the others were caused by 'great bubbles of toxic H2S gas erupting into the atmosphere' from the oceans due to anoxia." From the article: "The so-called thermal extinction at the end of the Paleocene began when atmospheric CO2 was just under 1,000 parts per million (ppm). At the end of the Triassic, CO2 was just above 1,000 ppm. Today with CO2 around 385 ppm...climbing at an annual rate of 2 ppm...to 3 ppm, levels could approach 900 ppm by the end of the next century."
BobB writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior's inspector general has released a report that says department employees are wasting their taxpayer-funded work time going to prohibited web sites. Some of these sites relate to sex, computer games, gambling and auctions. The study found that almost $2 billion a year in productivity was being lost to these 'excessive indulgences.'" From the article: "Computer-use logs revealed more than 4,732 entries relating to sexually explicit Web sites and gambling sites. Some computers accessed sex sites for 30 to 60 minutes during the test period. More than 1 million log entries were discovered indicating 7,763 Department computer users spent 2,004-plus hours accessing game and auction sites. Extrapolated over the year, that could account for 100,000 lost work hours. Put another way, this would equal 50 full-time employees doing nothing but surfing online game and auction sites."
Glenn Fleishman writes, "One of the most irritating things about draft-n wireless gear being released this year is that there have been no guarantees from any chipmaker or manufacturer that today's devices — loosely based on the IEEE 802.11n Draft 1.0 — will be upgradeable through firmware to the final standard. Several computer makers now bake draft-n adapters into their laptops as an option, which is even more troublesome. Today ASUS, which uses the Broadcom chipset, said that they will swap out hardware if necessary for any draft-n gateways and adapters they ship until the end of 2006. If firmware upgrades aren't enough, they'll replace your hardware, with you paying just the shipping. Of course, they're guaranteeing compatibility with the March 2008 expected ratified version of 802.11n, but it still means that you won't be left with equipment that only works well with itself."
plasmacutter writes to let us know about the new article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Rolling Stone, following up on his "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" (slashdotted here). Kennedy recounts the sorry history of electronic voting so far in this country — and some of the incidents will be new even to this clued-in crowd. (Had you heard about the CERT advisory on an undocumented backdoor account in a Diebold vote-tabulating database — crediting Black Box Voting?) Kennedy's reporting is bolstered by the accounts of a Diebold insider who has gone on record with his concerns. From the article: 'Chris Hood remembers the day in August 2002 that he began to question what was really going on in Georgia... "It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told me. "We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from [president of Diebold election unit Bob] Urosevich...' According to Hood, Diebold employees altered software in some 5,000 machines in DeKalb and Fulton counties, the state's largest Democratic strongholds. The tally in Georgia that November surprised even the most seasoned political observers. (Hint: Republicans won.)
KDR_11k writes "1up reports on a Famitsu article discussing the future of microtransactions for PS3. According to the article, Gran Tourismo HD will require all cars to be bought via microtransactions. More specifically, the 'classic' package will come with no cars or tracks and the 'premium' package will include 30 cars and a measly 2 tracks to race on. Additional cars cost between 50 and 100 yen ($0.43-$0.85) and tracks go for 200-500 yen ($1.71-$4.26) a piece. No pricing was given for the game itself." From the article: "Now, is it possible that the game will be a full-priced title with a built-in download system that allows users to download cars and tracks equal to the number of the game's retail price? We hope the model ends up similar to this. However, right now, details are extremely sparse, and Sony has to have an answer to these questions -- most of the people who can answer are over in Tokyo, we'll update if we hear back. Welcome to next-gen."