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Comment: Re:Conservation of energy (Score 1) 618

by WGR (#25756925) Attached to: Plasma Plants Vaporize Trash While Creating Energy

These plants are very good solutions as long as they are working. But there are number of ways to poison the process ( heavy volatile elements like mercury are let off into the air). As well, they can produce NOx compounds because the temperature is high enough to act on atmospheric nitrogen. They depend on active computer monitoring of the process to maintain critical parameters. Software problems are probably the biggest problem.

Comment: Re:So where do we send our bucks? (Score 1) 63

by WGR (#25665477) Attached to: Cash Lifeline For Bletchley Park

My wife and I visited Bletchley Park at the beginning of October. I bought a book containing short biographies of many of the codebreakers. Along with Alan Turing, a number of these people were important in setting up computer research labs after the war, including the Manchester University "Baby" computer, which was the first all electronic stored program computer. Another, Gordon Welchman, was one of the first lecturers n computer science at MIT and was one of the dsigners of the Whirlwind computer. William Tutte became an expert in graph theory and helped found the Mathematics Faculty at the University of Waterloo.

The re-created Colossus 2 machine is fascinating to watch. It works on an endless paper tape of the captured radio interceptions. It compares the code on the tape with a number of keys in parallel, looking for common German words to suggest which keys were possible.

Portables (Apple)

+ - New MacBook Pros Kernel Panic on AirPort->

Submitted by
cagednerdx
cagednerdx writes "Apple's latest incarnation of MacBook Pros have been leaving many new Mac owners feeling a bit disconnected from the company's usual reliability, this user being no exception (having owned four bad machines in the past month).

The new machines, released in the first week of June, have been reported to have been disconnecting users from their wireless networks, immediately followed by a kernel panic (a type of error that occurs when the core, or kernel, of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly). Some users have reported experiencing kernel panics as early as the moment they set up their wireless network in the initial hardware setup, directly out of the box.

Various sources at Apple have offered dozens of different "fixes" for this problem, none of which have actually solved the problem. Explanations varying from bad AirPort Cards and Logic Boards to incompatibility with specific routers to bad OS updates have been noted, however none have been officially confirmed."

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Software

+ - Problems with the "Paperless Voting" bill->

Submitted by
doom
doom writes "Are you excited to hear that Congress is going to vote on a bill to ban paperless voting? Well I was, and Move On clearly is, but if there are election reform advocates that tell a different story: Bev Harris: Is a flawed bill better than no bill?: "the Holt Bill provides for a paper trail (toilet paper roll-style records affixed to DRE voting machines) in 2008, requires more durable ballots in 2010, and requires a complex set of audits. It also cements and further empowers a concentration of power over elections under the White House, gives explicit federal sanction to trade secrets in vote counting, mandates an expensive 'text conversion' device that does not yet exist which is not fully funded, and removes 'safe harbor' for states in a way that opens them up to unlimited, expensive, and destabilizing litigation. " Steve Freeman: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory "Today, the Holt bill faces a 'fast track' vote in Congress. Essentially this means an up or down vote on a terrible bill, rather than an opportunity to speak in the nation's most important forum about what may well be the greatest threat to democracy in the history of the republic.""
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Software

+ - Dell spreads freedom to end-users outside the USA

Submitted by
JohnTeddy
JohnTeddy writes "Dell plans to roll out GNU/Linux to other countries besides USA. And to remedy what was previously reported on slashdot it will also "offer Ubuntu to small business customers in the future." Let me remind everyone Ubuntu from dell is $50 USD cheaper than Vista Dell, so to those who have been whining for decades about OEM support for Dell, now is the time to show your support. Dell also seems to have decent nerdy sense of humor with this youtube video they made. What is going on over there, is Michael Dell shaking things up? It's good to see Microsoft doesn't control all the OEMs."
Sun Microsystems

+ - Airline offer free access to StarOffice suite

Submitted by feranick
feranick (858651) writes "Singapore Airlines is offering access to Sun's StarOffice 8 office productivity suite free of charge to passengers on its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. StarOffice, Sun's proprietary version of OpenOffice.org, runs on the aircraft's Linux server and is accessed via a seat-back terminal at each passenger's seat, according to Sun.
More at Desktoplinux.com"
Google

Google Debuts Street View and Mapplets 157

Posted by kdawson
from the you-can-see-faces dept.
Today at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference Google unveiled two new map features. An O'Reilly blogger describes Street View, which uses 360-degree street-level video from Immersive Media to enable neighborhood walk-throughs in (for now) a few selected areas. The other new feature is Mapplets, which let you embed Google Maps mashups in any Web page. Much more coverage is linked from TechMeme.
Linux Business

+ - MS can sue SUSE users for using OOO, Wine

Submitted by El_Oscuro
El_Oscuro (1022477) writes "There is an article on arstechnica about the MS/Novell agreement. The deal specifically excludes patent protection for "clone products." In the agreement, a clone product is broadly defined as "a product (or major component thereof) of a Party that has the same or substantially the same features and functionality as a then-existing product (or major component thereof) of the other Party ... and that has the same or substantially the same user interface, or implements all or substantially all of the Application Programming Interfaces of the Prior Product." The text of the clone product definition subsections is very cumbersome to read, but it specifically mentions OpenOffice, Wine, and OpenXchange by name without asserting that they are necessarily clone products."

Apple plugs two QuickTime holes->

From feed by registerfeed
Second security patch in less than a week

Apple has plugged two holes in its QuickTime media player that could create serious security problems for people tricked into visiting malicious websites. The release, which is available for both Windows and Mac platforms, is Apple's second security patch in less than a week.


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Networking

+ - Vista TCP Window Stacking Causing Slowdowns

Submitted by tridium
tridium (1046536) writes "I recently moved into a new place where the landlord left a Linksys WRT54G ver2 router for us to use. Three laptops in the house running XP connected to it fine, but my desktop, running Vista RC1 build 5600, had to be hardwired. The Internet worked fine for a bit, but I noticed some websites weren't loading up (google, gmail, gamespot, etc.), and all IM clients were non-existent. Vista's self-diagnosis said to bypass Port 80 in the firewall (when the firewall on the router and desktop were off) and that it couldn't communicate with the DNS server, so I researched and the new TCP window stacking protocol in Windows is wreaking havoc with my router. I upgraded the firmware from Linksys, tried manually setting IP settings, modified the registry to disable TCP window stacking, but to no avail. Linksys support was useless saying they couldn't help with my "operating system configuration." I'm at a loss and any help, short of downgrading to XP, would be greatly appreciated!"
Operating Systems

+ - Daylight Saving Time change and datacenters

Submitted by Cheeze
Cheeze (12756) writes "As I am sure some of you know, Daylight Saving Time is slated to change this year thanks to The Energy Policy Act of 2005. This means nothing to the large majority of the population except they will either sleep late one day or have to commute in the dark. To a select few, this is a crunch time akin to the y2k fiasco, only there has been almost zero publicity recently. These select few are the ones responsible for updating the millions of computers, both servers and workstations, with the new time zone information. For newer servers, this usually means just install a patch and reboot (which is slightly more than mildly inconvenient). For older servers, this is basically an "End of Life" declaration. Servers running software for which no patch is available will be unable to update their own clocks. This doesn't seem like such a big deal until you realize Microsoft is only offering patches for WindowsXP and newer and Sun is not supporting Solaris 7 and older. That should knock a large percentage of the computers 1 hour off for a few weeks this spring. What are you doing in your datacenter to prepare?"
Security

Adobe Acrobat JavaScript Execution Bug 94

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the oops dept.
QASec.com writes to mention that Stefano Di Paola and Giorgio Fedon discovered an unpatched vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat Reader that can allow an attacker to execute arbitrary JavaScript on any hosted PDF file. People are reporting different results based on browser and Acrobat versions. Most of the major sites discussed have already fixed the problem, but many smaller sites may still need to be patched.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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