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Operating Systems

+ - Dennis Ritchie, creator of C & Unix reported d->

Submitted by
Whiney Mac Fanboy
Whiney Mac Fanboy writes "The register & many others, are reporting on the death of Dennis Ritchie", confirmed by a google plus post by Rob Pike, a former colleague at Bell labs.

Dennis Ritchie was best known as co-creator of the Unix operating system (modern versions of which underpin most smart phones, Linux & OS X) and the creator of the powerful & elegant C programming language.

This is a truly sad day. The computing community has lost one of the giants, on who's shoulders so many who came after stood."

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+ - Dennis Ritche dead at age 70->

Submitted by pedantic bore
pedantic bore (740196) writes "Dennis Ritchie, pioneer of C and UNIX, former leader of the Computer Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs, and winner of the ACM Turing Award, is reported dead at age 70.

Dennis Ritchie was one of the inventors who, without much fanfare and almost no publicity outside of the field, revolutionized operating systems and programming languages. His influence is ubiquitious; C and POSIX are the bedrock of nearly all modern computing platforms."

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Transportation

+ - Sideskirts Cut Truck Trailer Fuel Use by 15 %

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Researchers in the Netherlands have created an improved aerodynamic shape for truck trailers by mounting sideskirts that can lead to a cut in fuel consumption and emissions of up to 15%. Sideskirts are plates that are mounted on the sides of trailers to reduce the air currents alongside and under the trailer reducing the air resistance. The sideskirts can be fitted to approximately half the trucks currently in use in the Netherlands and it is expected that the cost of fitting aerodynamically-shaped sideskirts will be recouped within two years. Road tests are also underway on boat tails mounted on the rear of trailers to produce a reduction in the wake, the vacuum and air currents that arise when the trailer is moving. In theory, a boat tail could also mean a cut in air resistance of 30%, with a fuel reduction of 10 — 15%."
Internet Explorer

+ - What the CIA really thinks of Internet Explorer 3

Submitted by
Mike
Mike writes "Ever wonder what the CIA really thinks of Microsoft's Internet Explorer? How about just viewing the source of some of their javascript programs. When defining variables to define the browser the client uses, the CIA is very specific. Just look at the javascript source for the program found here: https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/games/break-the-code/code-1.html and you will see the CIA is telling the kiddies of the world that Microsoft's Internet Explorer is: bugRiddenCrashPronePieceOfJunk.

Here is the sample code:
var bugRiddenCrashPronePieceOfJunk=(navigator.userAgent.indexOf('MSIE 5')!=-1&&navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Mac')!=-1)

Nice. At the very least, you see how the CIA views the browser."
Music

+ - Congress considers bill to make radio "pay to ->

Submitted by
devjj
devjj writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Congress is considering two bills that will remove the exemption terrestrial radio broadcasters currently enjoy that allows them to broadcast music without compensating the artists or labels for it. Songwriters are paid, but that is it. The National Association of Broadcasters is furious at the RIAA, a vocal supporter of repealing the exemptions, and has responded by agreeing that artists need better compensation. As a result, it is pointing its collective finger at the labels, asking Congress to investigate modern recording contracts.

What do you think? With the NAB up against the RIAA, what do consumers stand to gain or lose?"

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Microsoft

+ - Portugese company to auction off "Microsoft->

Submitted by traycerb
traycerb (728174) writes "A Portuguese company, named Microsoft Lda, and unrelated to the Balmer/Gates/et al institution, is selling the Portugese rights to the Microsoft name on ebay. As the article says: "The company registered its title locally in back in 1981, long before Microsoft Corp penetrated the Portuguese market. Since the Beast of Redmond is accordingly not allowed to call itself Microsoft in the land of fado and pasteis de nata, it lurks behind the MSFT moniker." "MSFT?" How is that even pronounced?"
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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire ->

Submitted by
SuperUberGeek
SuperUberGeek writes "GoDaddy Lets Their SSL Certificate Expire

Of all the biggest blunders you do not want to do, GoDaddy.com has let their security certificate expire and is now taken offline. As of 4:10 PST, Dec 19, 2007 Godaddy.com has ceased to exist. This is a major blooper for a company that prides itself in reselling SSL Certificates, and in providing web based tools to manage your domain names, websites, and auctions for domain names. All three which can expire in the time godaddy is down, presenting a huge problem for anyone who has a domain name expiring tonight, or who needs to manage something for a client using the tools at godaddy."

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Data Storage

+ - Why CNBC chose Apple for its primary storage-> 1

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Computerworld has written about CNBC and its storage infrastructure. Instead of relying on bigger vendors like NetApp or EMC for its primary storage, the cable news channel turned to an Apple Xsan. It's one of the few Apple SANs that the writer has seen in a data center of this size: 'Most corporations simply don't trust Apple — primarily because their infrastructure is Windows and Unix — to put it in their data center, much less to use it for their primary network storage,' he writes. Part of the reason why CNBC chose Apple is the CNBC graphics team uses Macs for a lot of their work, but cost and scalability figured into their choice, as well. There's a brief video interview accompanying the story, featuring CNBC's graphics engineer explaining the Xsan setup."
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Power

+ - Toshiba Builds Household Nuclear Reactor->

Submitted by
sterlingda
sterlingda writes "Toshiba has developed a new class of nuclear reactor 100 times smaller than a standard reactor. These micro sized nuclear reactors could be used to power large houses, apartment blocks or some city blocks. The new 200 kilowatt reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. The new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction, but uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy. Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009."
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Security

+ - Linux.com allows JavaScript via comments->

Submitted by
John Bokma
John Bokma writes "Today, "thanks" to a comment spam I received, I discovered that one can just post comments on linux.com containing JavaScript. The programmer who allowed for such a security hole should be very, very ashamed. At first I couldn't believe my eyes, but a very simple test showed me that it was indeed the case: anybody can post JavaScript on Linux.com via their comment system."
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Linux Business

+ - Is Ubuntu playing trademark policy games?-> 7

Submitted by
palegray.net
palegray.net writes "The subject could just as easily be stated "Does Ubuntu understand its own trademark policy?" or alternately "Does Ubuntu really want community support and involvement?" I thought so a week ago. If you're interested in the full write-up of the whole affair, check this page. It contains copies of all the emails I sent to Ubuntu's "trademarks" email address regarding this matter, along with copies of the replies I received.

First, a little bit of background on myself and how this situation started. I'm a pretty big nerd, and I mean that in more than just your general "loves computers and programming Linux applications" sense. I also happen to enjoy puzzles of all types, word games, and kite building. Yes, kite building, especially miniature kites that can be flown in very light winds (or even indoors, in some cases).

I decided it might be a good idea to offer some small kites for sale that were decorated with various open source and Linux themed logos. Given the amount of support the Ubuntu project gives to education, especially considering their focus on education through the Edubuntu project, I thought their logo would look nice on small kites designed for Linux enthusiasts and school-age children. The way I see it, the more kids are exposed to operating systems like Ubuntu, and the less they're forced to use Microsoft products, the better off we all are in the long run. Who knows, maybe a simple kite might spark some kid's curiosity...

So I decided to do the right and proper thing by asking for permission to use the Ubuntu logo on small kites. After a few email exchanges with the folks at Ubuntu, my request was flatly denied with no commentary on my stated interpretation of their trademark policy and the procedure one should use for requesting licensed use of their logos.

What does the Slashdot community think of this? I offered to contribute a percentage of any revenue generated from the kites to the Ubuntu (or Edubuntu, whichever they prefer) project, but received no acknowledgment of that offer. What gives?"

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Intel

+ - Intel announces Open Fibre Channel over Ethernet->

Submitted by
sofar
sofar writes "Intel has just announced and released source code for their Open-FCoE project, which creates a transport that allows native Fibre Channel frames to travel over ordinary ethernet cables to any Linux system. This is an extremely interesting development where datacenters can reduce cost and maintenance by reducing the amount of Fibre Channel equipment and cabling while still enjoying the benefits and performance of Fibre Channel equipment. The new standard for channelling fibre channel frames over ethernet is backed by Cisco, Sun, IBM, EMC, Emulex and a variety of others working in the storage field. The timing of this announce makes sense with 10 Gigabit Ethernet becoming more widespread in the datacenter."
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IBM

+ - How to really bury a mainframe->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Some users have gone to great lengths to dispose of their mainframe but few have gone this far. On November 21, 2007, the University of Manitoba said goodbye to its beloved 47-year-old IBM 650 mainframe Betelgeuse by holding a New Orleans style jazz funeral. In case you were wondering what an IBM 650's specifications were, according to this Columbia University site, the 650's CPU was 5ft by 3ft by 6ft and weighed 1,966 lbs, and rented for $3200 per month. The power unit was 5x3x6 and weighed 2,972 pounds. The card reader/punch weighed 1,295 pounds and rented for $550/month. The memory was a rotating magnetic drum with 2000 word (10 digits and sign) capacity and random access time of 2.496 ms. For an additional $1,500/month you could add magnetic core memory of 60 words with access time of .096ms. Big Blue sold some 2,000 of the mainframes making it one of the first successfully mass-produced computers. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/23123"
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Software

+ - Microsoft's influence on upcoming ISO vote?-> 2

Submitted by
christian.einfeldt
christian.einfeldt writes "Microsoft has experienced some criticism for its handling of its bid to have OOXML accepted as an ISO standard, including the use of financial incentives to affect the Swedish national vote, which resulted in Swedent reversing its pro-Microsoft position; and failing to honor a promise to relinquish control of the OOXML specification if it gained ISO status. Now, Groklaw has published an article that raises questions about Microsoft's influence on the upcoming February vote, citing concerns with the limitation of discussions of patent issues, public accountability of the process, and even irregularities with choosing the size of the room so as to limit the delegates opposed to OOXML ISO status, as had been done in the past."
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