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Is Microsoft's .NET Ecosystem On the Decline? 250

Nerval's Lobster writes: In a posting that recently attracted some buzz online, .NET developer Justin Angel (a former program manager for Silverlight) argued that the .NET ecosystem is headed for collapse—and that could take interest in C# along with it. "Sure, you'll always be able to find a job working in C# (like you would with COBOL), but you'll miss out on customer reach and risk falling behind the technology curve," he wrote. But is C# really on the decline? According to Dice's data, the popularity of C# has risen over the past several years; it ranks No. 26 on Dice's ranking of most-searched terms. But Angel claims he pulled data from that shows job trends for C# on the decline. Data from the TIOBE developer interest index mirrors that trend, he said, with "C# developer interest down approximately 60% down back to 2006-2008 levels." Is the .NET ecosystem really headed for long-term implosion, thanks in large part to developers devoting their energies to other platforms such as iOS and Android?

Submission + - Microsoft To Run Linux On Azure (

snydeq writes: "After years of battling Linux as a competitive threat, Microsoft is now offering Linux-based operating systems on its Windows Azure cloud service. The Linux services will go live on Azure at 4 a.m. EDT on Thursday. At that time, the Azure portal will offer a number of Linux distributions, including Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2, OpenSuse 12.01, CentOS 6.2 and Canonical Ubuntu 12.04. Azure users will be able to choose and deploy a Linux distribution from the Microsoft Windows Azure Image Gallery and be charged on an hourly pay-as-you-go basis."

The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom 207

Lucas123 writes "At SNW in Santa Clara this past week, a diverse group of techies shared insights into their industries, such as the DVR market. TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are. Oh, and TiVo's planning to integrate its box with your flatscreen, so no more set-top device. And Steve Wozniak attacked the American education system, saying students should be graded on a single, long-term project rather than a short learning/testing cycle. 'In school, intelligence is a measurement,' he said. 'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

Inducement To Piracy, Adobe Style 272

S Vulpy writes "A post at the Social Science Research Council's website talks about how piracy greases the wheels of the Adobe Creative Suite marketplace by making it easier to deal with Adobe breaking compatibility between versions. Quoting: '... such incompatibility doesn’t involve exotic functionality, just straight text layout into columns and boxes. The kind of stuff that has been core functionality of publishing software since the early 1990s. Translate this dilemma to Brazil or Russia, where incomes are a fraction that of the US and you get a very simple outcome: massive piracy of Adobe products. In fact, go through this process in the last month of a 4-year project on a deadline and one could understand becoming extremely sympathetic to such a perspective. This, as we’ve argued, is not a defect of the Adobe business model, it is the business model.'"

Upgrading From Windows 1.0 To Windows 7 Screenshot-sm 499

An anonymous reader writes "YouTube user Andrew Tait has uploaded a video titled Chain of Fools: Upgrading through every version of Windows. Tait starts with MS DOS 5.0 running Windows 1.0 and keeps upgrading the operating system until he reaches Windows 7, taking note of the changes to system settings and application compatibility along the way."

Microsoft Kills AutoRun In Windows 340

aesoteric writes "Microsoft has finally decided to push out an update to disable AutoRun in its XP operating system, a Windows feature that had been increasingly exploited by virus writers over the years. But because Microsoft still sees AutoRun as a feature and not a security hole, it isn't calling its Windows Update a "security update" but rather an "Important, non-security update" — but it effectively disables the AutoRun feature anyway."

Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror Screenshot-sm 279

New research suggests that in addition to being one of history's cruelest conquerors, Genghis Khan may have been the greenest. It is estimated that the Mongol leader's invasions unintentionally scrubbed almost 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. From the article: "Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests. In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere." I guess everyone has their good points.

Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks 212

snydeq writes "German white-hat hacker Thomas Roth claims he can crack WPA-PSK-protected networks in six minutes using Amazon EC2 compute power — an attack that would cost him $1.68. The key? Amazon's new cluster GPU instances. 'GPUs are (depending on the algorithm and the implementation) some hundred times faster compared to standard quad-core CPUs when it comes to brute forcing SHA-1 and MD,' Roth explained. GPU-assisted servers were previously available only in supercomputers and not to the public at large, according to Roth; that's changed with EC2. Among the questions Roth's research raises is, what role should Amazon and other public-cloud service providers play in preventing customers from using their services to commit crimes?"
Hardware Hacking

How To Use a Real Guitar With Rock Band 3 180

wirelessdreamer writes "Using a real guitar, with a hex-aphonic pickup, and guitar synth rock band 3 pro guitar mode can be played NOW with a real guitar. Thanks to the game2midi project for makeing g2ghpro a multiplatform release. Selfless promotion as the submitter is the game2midi project lead :)"

Scientists Find Tears Are the Anti-Viagra Screenshot-sm 207

An anonymous reader writes "The male test subjects didn't know what they were smelling, they were just given little vials of clear liquid and told to sniff. But when those vials contained a woman's tears (collected while she watched a sad movie), the men rated pictures of women's faces as less sexually attractive, and their saliva contained less testosterone. Is this proof that humans make and respond to pheromones? The researcher behind the study doesn't use that controversial word, but he says his findings do prove that tears contain meaningful chemical messages."

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley