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Communications

Obama Staffers Followed Palin's Email Lead On Inauguration Day 407

Posted by timothy
from the why-mess-with-success dept.
theodp writes "Using Yahoo's free e-mail service to conduct government business was good enough for Sarah Palin. And now the Washington Times reports that Obama staffers turned to Gmail on Inauguration Day to conduct their business. Those wishing to contact members of the incoming Obama administration were instructed to contact staffers at wh.LASTNAME@gmail.com until official White House e-mail addresses became available."
Red Hat Software

Red Hat Set To Surpass Sun In Market Capitalization 221

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-that's-a-milestone dept.
mytrip writes "In what may come to be seen as a deeply symbolic moment in the history of operating systems, Red Hat is on the verge of surpassing Sun Microsystems' market capitalization for the first time. Sun, perhaps unfairly, represents a fading Unix market. Red Hat, for its part, represents the rising Linux market. Given enough time for its open-source strategy to play out, Sun's market capitalization will likely recover and outpace Red Hat's."
Spam

Personalized Spam Rising Sharply, Study Finds 142

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-i-don't-want-a-yearbook dept.
designperfection9 writes "A new study by Cisco Systems Inc. found an alarming increase in the amount of personalized spam, which online identity thieves create using stolen lists of e-mail addresses or other poached data about their victims, such as where they went to school or which bank they use."
Education

How Regulations Hamper Chemical Hobbyists 610

Posted by timothy
from the council-of-wise-men-strikes-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Chemical & Engineering News just ran this story that relates how government regulations create a terribly restrictive atmosphere for people who do chemistry as a hobby. (A related story was previously posted.)" The article gives some examples of why hamfisted regulations are harmful even to those who aren't doing the chemistry themselves: "Hobby chemists will tell you that home labs have been the source of some of chemistry's greatest contributions. Charles Goodyear figured out how to vulcanize rubber with the same stove that his wife used to bake the family's bread. Charles Martin Hall discovered the economical electrochemical process for refining aluminum from its ore in a woodshed laboratory near his family home. A plaque outside Sir William Henry Perkin's Cable Street residence in London notes that the chemist 'discovered the first aniline dyestuff, March 1856, while working in his home laboratory on this site and went on to found science-based industry.'"
Sci-Fi

David Tennant Stands Down From "Doctor Who" 245

Posted by timothy
from the no-really-who dept.
Dave Knott writes "After winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the British National Television Awards, David Tennant announced that he will be quitting the iconic role of The Doctor. Quoting Tennant: 'When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won't be with me. Now don't make me cry. I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair.' Tennant will appear in a Christmas special, titled The Next Doctor, before filming four more specials in January. After that, the search will be on for the actor to play the 11th incarnation of The Doctor."

New Cellphone Sized "Computer" Takes Aim at Sub-Notebooks 256

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the no-nomad-comparisons dept.
IMOVIO has launched a new cellphone-sized computer that is aimed at something similar to the subnotebook market. While it doesn't have 3G of its own, it does have a QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, and a $175 price point. "It can connect to the Internet using a standard Wi-Fi connection, or it can use your cell phone's mobile broadband connection via Bluetooth. The company is currently pitching it to mobile network operators and retail stores. It's being compared to the ill-fated Palm Foleo. But the comparison doesn't work because the Foleo was Palm-phone only, didn't fit in a pocket and cost well over three times the price of the iKIT.
Mozilla

FireFox 3.1 Leaves IE in the Dust 435

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-just-want-fewer-beachballs dept.
Anonymous writes "Granted, FireFox 3.1 is just a beta and IE 8 is also in beta, but it looks like Microsoft has some ground to make up when it comes to browser performance. Given that Mozilla appears to be on a much faster cycle than Microsoft with this stuff, it's also possible that it could increase the gap even more before IE 8 is GA, no?"
Science

CO2 To Fuel, Closing the "Carbon Loop" 316

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the squeeze-as-much-as-you-can dept.
leprasmurf writes "Inhabitat has posted an article detailing a recent announcement of a process to turn CO2 into fuel. The process, which used to be considered too energy inefficient, uses a multi-step, low pressure, and low temperature biocatalyst to break the CO2 into 'basic hydrocarbon building blocks.'"
Space

Soyuz With Richard Garriott Successfully Launched 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the lord-british-in-space dept.
Toren Altair writes "Soyuz TMA-13 with ISS Expedition Crew 18 and Richard Garriott successfully launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7:01 UT (3:01 EDT). The Soyuz capsule will dock to the ISS in two days. Garriott will return to Earth with Expedition 17 crew members, Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko on October 23." With the extra attention on this launch, the Russians have gone out of their way to say that the return of the Soyuz vehicle will be safe, after a couple of different malfunctions in the past year. Garriott is in space partly for recreation, and partly as a promotion for his latest MMO, Tabula Rasa. He took with him a hard drive filled with information about humanity, as well as DNA sequences from Tabula Rasa players and various celebrities (including Stephen Colbert and Stephen Hawking) to 'preserve' that data in case of a disaster on Earth. Garriott will also spend time running and participating in experiments. Coverage of the Soyuz mission is ongoing at NASATV.
Biotech

Watching Brain Cells In Action 37

Posted by timothy
from the as-if-mice-have-brains dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "A Stanford University team has developed a microscope weighing only 1.1 grams. It is so small that it can be mounted to the head of a freely moving mouse to watch its brain cell activity. According to what the lead researcher told New Scientist, 'A lot of work has been done using brain slices, or anaesthetised animals — even using animals that are awake but restrained. But so far it has been impossible to image cellular-level activity in a freely moving mouse.' Not any more. And as mice are the 'preferred' animals in medical labs, this new kind of microscope could lead to new ways to study human diseases."

A New Concept in Supercomputers 113

Posted by CmdrTaco
Steve Kerrison writes "With the power of CPUs ever-increasing and the number of cores in a system increasing too, having a supercomputer sit under your desk is no longer a pipe dream. But generally speaking, the extreme high end of modern computing consists of a big ugly box housing that generates a lot of noise. A UK system integrator has developed a concept PC that blows that all away. The eXtreme Concept PC (XCP) has quite a romantic design story, with inspiration coming from concept cars and the sarcophagus-like Cray T90. The end result is a system that resembles a Cylon — computing power never looked so ominous. Although just a concept, the company behind the design reckons there could be a (small) market for the systems, with varying levels of compute power accompanied by appropriate (say, LN2) cooling."

Comment: Re:Debian Project (Score 1, Offtopic) 196

by alleria (#4209380) Attached to: FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software
Frankly, I don't see Debian as being only for 'advanced' users now. My qualifications for saying this? I'm a newly-minted Debian (linux overall) user who tried Mandrake 8 and RedHat 7.3 a few weeks ago, and gave up in utter disgust at how horribly broken their 'graphical config' tools are. (RedHat is admittedly much better than Mandrake in this regard, which sent my X server into impossible video modes in an infinite loop after I changed a few unrelated settings).

Wanting to try out *NIX in general, I then gave the BSDs a try. FreeBSD's hardware detect was so horrible it wouldn't even boot, and NetBSD seemed to not like the way DHCP was configured, or somesuch. OpenBSD installed well and securely, but X configuration was something out of a horror novel.

I'll admit that I'm slightly different from the average windows user, having paid my dues in the good (bad?) old days of DOS 5.0/WindowsFW 3.11, but the text-only boot-floppies install system aside (getting replaced anyways for sarge's release, as I understand it), Debian is just dead-simple to use. Sure, install asks questions that require thought, and I'd like to see more "if you don't know wtf we are saying, answer no" prompts, but in general, it is well thought-out.

I need not sing praises for apt (its benefits are well-known now), except to say that it is truly bulletproof, accounting not only for dependencies, conflicts, etc., but actually dealing with broken-off downloads on a dialup by resuming them -- a godsemnd when trying to update big debian-security packages over a modem.

Lastly: no, it's generally not the newest and shineyest, but everything is just _so_ well tested. While the bug list(s) may *look* impressively long, Woody at least is just as stable in the user-space as Win2k + properly configured apps.

Both Linux and Win2k have fairly stable kernels that don't crash a whole lot now, but in my past (brief) dalliances with SuSE 6.4, at that time, and with that distro, the apps were just bugggy and crashy. Debian's outstanding package maintainers take care of that by making the userspace programs as much of a technical tour-de-force as the kernel-space stuff, thus creating a truly superior experience for a novice user like me.

By creating a truly well-integrated, maintained, and bug-free distro, IMHO Debian contributes significantly to free/open software's cause.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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