New submitter Jason Baker writes: With the rise of Docker containers as an alternative for deploying complex server-based applications, one might wonder, does the operating system even matter anymore? Certainly the question gets asked periodically. Gordon Haff makes the argument on Opensource.com that the operating system is still very much alive and kicking, and that a hardened, tuned, reliable operating system is just as important to the success of applications as it was in the pre-container data center.
lordDallan writes "Simson Garfinkel at MIT Technology Review muses on the idea of your Facebook account becoming an 'Internet Driver's License', ruminating on the idea of an individual's Facebook login becoming their single sign on for the web. I say NO THANKS!!"
GovTechGuy writes "A new bill unveiled Wednesday by House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to enforce federal cybersecurity standards on private sector companies deemed critical to national security. The Homeland Security Cyber and Physical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2010 authorizes DHS to establish and enforce risk and performance-based cybersecurity standards on federal agencies and private sector companies considered part of the country's critical infrastructure. Such firms include utilities, communications providers and financial institutions."
The BATFE is nominally a tax enforcement agency and were at one time part of the Treasury Department. They might still be, I'm too lazy to google that info. In any case, they enforce laws related to taxes on the production and procurement of those three items. I want to know where EXPLOSIVES part comes in.
An anonymous reader writes "AOL's disastrous quarterly report showed cash from continuing operations was down 44% from a year ago (adjusted operating income was down 37%), as it continues a rocky transition from monthly subscription fees to advertising. (Their quarterly report also notes 'the cessation of large-scale access subscriber acquisition campaigns' — investor-speak for the fact that AOL will finally stop mass mailings of free trial accounts.) Unfortunately, AOL's advertising business 'did even worse. Its revenues declined by $110 million... every single segment is down.' AOL has already lost 86% of the 30 million subscribers it reported in 2001 — down to just 4.3 million — but advertising hasn't yet filled the gap (possibly because many AOL ads had been displayed to the users AOL no longer has). But at least, as one technology blogger notes, AOL has finally released a mobile application, 'in the new definition of "late to the party."'"
Earthquake Retrofit sends along a piece from The Register reporting on a nightmare scenario of legal jurisdiction on the Internet: a Pakistani lawyer has filed blasphemy charges, carrying the death penalty, against Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives (and the pseudonomous user who initiated the "Draw Muhammad" contest last month). Pakistani police have apparently opened an investigation, according to this Google translation of a BBC Urdu report."
A few days after an untimely leak on Xbox Live, Epic Games has now officially announced Gears of War 3 for next April. Details are scant (though Edge speculates on possible new gameplay features), but it will contain 4-player co-op and be an Xbox 360 exclusive. A trailer was released for the game, and designer Cliff Bleszinski had this to say: "When we released Gears of War more than three years ago, we set out to tell the world an unforgettable story of bravery and sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds, and a year from now, players will get the chance to experience the final chapter in the story of Marcus Fenix and his companions in Delta Squad. This is definitely the biggest and most dramatic chapter yet in the Gears of War saga, and we can't wait to deliver it."
An anonymous reader writes "More than 100 people, many of them dressed in black, are expected to gather around a coffin Thursday to say goodbye to an old friend. The deceased? Internet Explorer 6. The aging Web browser, survived by its descendants Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, is being eulogized at a tongue-in-cheek 'funeral' hosted by Aten Design Group, a design firm in Denver, Colorado."
Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."
An anonymous reader writes "Over the last two months I ported Quake 3 to Android as a hobby project. It only took a few days to get the game working. More time was spent on tweaking the game experience. Right now the game runs at 25fps on a Motorola Milestone/Droid. 'Normally when you compile C/C++ code using the Android NDK, the compiler targets a generic ARMv5 CPU which uses software floating-point. Without any optimizations and audio Quake 3 runs at 22fps. Since Quake 3 uses a lot of floating-point calculations, I tried a better C-compiler (GCC 4.4.0 from Android GIT) which supports modern CPUs and Neon SIMD instructions. Quake 3 optimized for Cortex-A8 with Neon is about 15% faster without audio and 35% with audio compared to the generic ARMv5 build. Most likely the performance improvement compared to the ARMv5 build is not that big because the system libraries of the Milestone have been compiled with FPU support, so sin/cos/log/.. take advantage of the FPU.''
eldavojohn writes "If you have a license to stream content for free from Warner, be aware: Warner has announced plans to cancel streaming licenses. Major sites such as Last.fm, Spotify, and Pandora may be affected — Warner has not yet spelled out whether streaming restrictions will apply to existing licenses, or only to future ones. Warner's CEO Edgar Bronfman said, 'Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed.' You might contend that Warner gets a cut of the ad-based revenue these free streaming sites take in. While true, Bronfman contended that this revenue comes nowhere near what they need in compensation for each individual's enjoyment of each work. The article quotes spokesmen for other labels who disagree with Warner's stance, however. Music's digital birthing pains continue."
OBG writes "A Nebraska native charged with taking part in a massive cyber-attack against the Scientology website will be spending the next year behind bars. 20-year-old Brian Thomas Mettenbrink will plead guilty to the charge of unauthorized access of a protected computer for his involvement in the denial of service attack, which was orchestrated by the online group 'Anonymous.' Mettenbrink's is the second successful prosecution connected to the 'Anonymous' attacks. Last year, Dmitriy Guzner of Verona, New Jersey, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for attacks on Scientology sites."
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."
notthatwillsmith writes "If you're a fan of Left 4 Dead and you've ever wanted to build a zombie-filled map of your hometown, office or grocery store, Maximum PC just posted a how-to that shows you how to convert photos of real-world locations into ready-to-play L4D 1 or 2 maps. It's everything you need to know in order to kill zombies with your friends — in the comfort of your own backyard."