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Submission + - Removing libsystemd0 from a live-running Debian system-> 1

lkcl writes: The introduction of systemd has unilaterally created a polarisation of the GNU/Linux community that is remarkably similar to the monopolistic power position wielded by Microsoft in the late 1990s. Choices were stark: use Windows (with SMB/CIFS Services), or use UNIX (with NFS and NIS). Only the introduction of fully-compatible reverse-engineered NT Domains services corrected the situation. Instructions on how to remove systemd include dire warnings that "all dependent packages will be removed", rendering a normal Debian Desktop system flat-out impossible to achieve. It was therefore necessary to demonstrate that it is actually possible to run a Debian Desktop GUI system (albeit an unusual one: fvwm) with libsystemd0 removed. The reason for doing so: it doesn't matter how good systemd is believed to be or in fact actually is: the reason for removing it is, apart from the alarm at how extensive systemd is becoming (including interfering with firewall rules), it's the way that it's been introduced in a blatantly cavalier fashion as a polarised all-or-nothing option, forcing people to consider abandoning the GNU/Linux of their choice and to seriously consider using FreeBSD or any other distro that properly respects the Software Freedom principle of the right to choose what software to run. We aren't all "good at coding", or paid to work on Software Libre: that means that those people who are need to be much more responsible, and to start — finally — to listen to what people are saying. Developing a thick skin is a good way to abdicate responsibility and, as a result, place people into untenable positions.
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Submission + - Mars Rover finds evidence of Taco Bell?->

ColdWetDog writes: Most methane on earth has a biological origin — microbes, cows, burritos. It has been long observed that there is a very low level of methane production on Mars. It's specific origin is unclear. Certainly one answer would be some sort of biologic process. The Mars Rover, Curiosity has been sampling methane levels on a regular basis and has noted several small spikes.

A BBC article discusses the data further and offers some clues and further areas of research. Unfortunately it is a bit premature to postulate that the Martian Counsel can order takeout.

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Submission + - Curiosity Detects Mysterious Methane Spikes on Mars-> 1

astroengine writes: A gas strongly associated with life on Earth has been detected again in the Martian atmosphere, opening a new chapter in a decade-old mystery about the on-again, off-again appearance of methane on Mars. The latest discovery comes from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which in addition to analyzing rocks and soil samples, is sniffing the air at its Gale Crater landing site. A year ago, scientists reported that Curiosity had come up empty-handed after an eight-month search for methane in the atmosphere, leaving earlier detections by ground-based telescopes and Mars-orbiting spacecraft an unexplained anomaly. “We thought we had closed the book on methane. It was disappointing to a lot of people that there wasn’t significant methane on Mars, but that’s where we were,” Curiosity scientist Christopher Webster with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told Discovery News.
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Submission + - Court sides with software developer in open source dispute enforcing GPL

neoflexycurrent writes: From internetcases: Plaintiff wrote an XML parser and made it available as open source software under the GPLv2. Defendant acquired from another vendor software that included the code, and allegedly distributed that software to parties outside the organization. According to plaintiff, defendant did not comply with the conditions of the GPL, so plaintiff sued for copyright infringement.Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion, finding the GPL to be enforceable.

Submission + - Facebook mocks 'infection' study, predicts Princeton's demise-> 1

Okian Warrior writes: In a followup to our earlier story about Princeton researchers predicting the end of Facebook by 2017, Facebook has struck back with a post using similar statistical techniques to predict that Princeton itself may be facing irreversible decline.

By using similar methods ("likes," mentions in scholarly papers, Google searches) Facebook creates convincing-looking graphs that indicate Princeton is losing ground compared with its rivals and may have no students at all by 2021.

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Submission + - More bad news for the F-35->

schwit1 writes: A new U.S. Defense Department report warns that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps’ plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015.

It said Lockheed had delivered F-35 jets with 50 percent or less of the software capabilities required by its production contracts with the Pentagon.

The computer-based logistics system known as ALIS was fielded with “serious deficiencies” and remained behind schedule, which affected servicing of existing jets needed for flight testing, the report said. It said the ALIS diagnostic system failed to meet even basic requirements.

The F35 program, which began in 2001, is 70 percent over initial cost estimates, and years behind schedule, but top U.S. officials say it is now making progress. They have vowed to safeguard funding for the program to keep it on track.

Earlier this week, the nonprofit Center for International Policy said Lockheed had greatly exaggerated its estimate that the F-35 program sustained 125,000 U.S. jobs to shore up support for the program.

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Submission + - German court invalidates Microsoft FAT patent-> 1

walterbyrd writes: Microsoft storage patent that was used to get a sales ban on products from Google-owned Motorola Mobility in Germany has been invalidated by the German Federal Patent Court.

Microsoft's FAT (File Allocation Table) patent, which concerns a "common name space for long and short filenames" was invalidated on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Patent Court said in an email Friday. She could not give the exact reasons for the court's decision before the written judicial decision is released, which will take a few weeks.

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Submission + - Linus Torvalds No Longer Ranked in the Top 100 Linux Kernel developers->

darthcamaro writes: The Linux Foundation's Who Writes Linux report is now out and after 22 yrs leading Linux, Linux creator Linus Torvalds this year has fallen out of the list of top 100 developers in terms of code contributions.

Torvalds currently ranks 101st on the latest "Who Writes Linux" report for number of patches generated from the Linux 3.3 to the Linux 3.10 kernel releases. Topping the list is Linux kernel developer H Hartley Sweeten with 2.3 percent of changes. Sweeten is followed by kernel developer Mark Brown, who contributed 1.5 percent of changes.


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Submission + - Our Solar System: Rare Species in Cosmic Zoo->

astroengine writes: Pulling from 20 years of research since the first discoveries of planets beyond our solar system, scientists have concluded that Earth and its sibling worlds comprise what appears to be a relatively rare breed in a diverse cosmic zoo that includes a huge variety of planet sizes, orbits and parent stars. The most common systems contain one or more planets one to three times bigger than Earth, all orbiting much closer to their parent stars than Earth circles the sun, says astronomer Andrew Howard, with the University of Hawaii.
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Submission + - Passthoughts, not Passwords: Authentication via Brainwaves->

CowboyRobot writes: A new study by researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Information examined the brainwave signals of individuals performing specific actions to see if they can be consistently matched to the right individual. To measure the subjects' brainwaves, the team utilized the NeuroSky Mindset, a Bluetooth headset that records Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. In the end, the team was able to match the brainwave signals with 99% accuracy. "We are not trying to trace back from a brainwave signal to a specific person," explains Prof. John Chuang, who led the team. "That would be a much more difficult problem. Rather, our task is to determine if a presented brainwave signal matches the brainwave signals previously submitted by the user when they were setting up their pass-thought."
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GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - The Pirate Bay's Oldest Torrent is "Revolution OS"->

jrepin writes: "After nearly 9 years of seeding The Pirate Bay’s oldest working torrent is still very much alive. Interestingly, the torrent is not a Hollywood classic nor is it an evergreen music album. The honor goes to a pirated copy of “Revolution OS”, a documentary covering the history of Linux, GNU and the free software movement."
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The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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