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Government

Microsoft's Bulk Deal With New Zealand Collapses 166

Posted by kdawson
from the door-off-hinges dept.
vik writes "The latest 3-year, pan-government deal that Microsoft has been establishing with the New Zealand government since 2000 has collapsed, opening the doors to the wider use of open source software in government. The NZ State Services Commission (already a prize-winning user of open source) says in a statement that it '...became apparent during discussions that a formal agreement with Microsoft is no longer appropriate.' Having lost their discount, individual government departments will now have to put their IT requirements out to tender individually."
Government

Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition? 1367

Posted by kdawson
from the with-your-remaining-brain-cells dept.
gplus writes "December 5th was the 75th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition in the US. The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed which argues that now may be the time to discuss our war on drugs and the drug prohibition currently in place. The article argues that the harm caused by the banned substance must be balanced against the harms caused by the prohibition. As to why Americans in 1933 finally voted to end prohibition, while we barely even discuss it: 'Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.'"

Comment: Decade of Linux on the Desktop (Score 1) 578

by essence (#23452320) Attached to: Getting Past "Ready For the Desktop"
I like to think of 2005 to 2015 as the decade of Linux on the desktop. It's really only the last few years that linux has become usable by grandma, so long as grandma has the right hardware. I'm hopeful that the next 7 years will see much improvement for linux. By 2015, Linux will be on par with/ superior to other OS's on the desktop.

The Courts

Sweden to Give Courts New Power to Hunt IP Infringers 171

Posted by Zonk
from the unleash-the-p2p-sniffing-hounds dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Swedish Culture & Justice ministers are preparing to give new power to Swedish courts to let them force ISPs to give up subscriber IPs. The end goal is trying subscribers in court for copyright infringement. As the one-time home of the Pirate Bay, which is now internationally distributed, they face both US pressure and push-back at home. The Swedish arm of the Pirate Party is calling this move a 'sanctioned blackmailing operation', but hopefully the Swedish courts won't allow the IFPI to use as many tricks as the RIAA has in US courts."
Software

The Benefits of 'Vendor-Free' Open Source IT 111

Posted by Zonk
from the keeping-the-consultants-out-the-cold dept.
mjasay writes "IDC has released a report looking into industry adoption of open software. In the study, analyst Matt Lawton stumbles across an intriguing trend: IT departments do most of the services around open source, rather than third-party consulting companies. While IDC believes this is a bad thing, the data in the report suggests otherwise. 70% of the enterprises surveyed did their own implementations, while roughly 90% supported their own open-source deployments. This might be a cause for alarm if the projects weren't so successful: 70% of the projects were deemed to be of "Critical" or "High Importance" compared to other IT projects and 90% plan to maintain or increase their investment in open source projects. Could it be that open source is liberating enterprises from an unhealthy dependence on vendors, and that early results suggest that this will be a Very Good Thing for the success of IT projects, many of which have failed historically."
Microsoft

Time for a Vista Do-Over? 746

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-luck-next-time dept.
DigitalDame2 writes "'There's nothing wrong with Vista,' PC Mag editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tells a Microsoft rep at this year's CES. 'But you guys have a big problem on your hands. Perception is reality, and the perception is that Vista is a dud.' He goes on to confess that the operating system is too complex and burdened by things people don't need. Plus, Vista sometimes seems so slow. Ulanoff gives four suggestions for a complete Vista makeover, like starting with new code and creating a universal interface table. But will Microsoft really listen?"
PHP

+ - Experts Discuss PHP And Take Your Questions Live->

Submitted by
Jim Ethanol
Jim Ethanol writes "Live from San Francisco tonight at 6:30PM: Renown PHP gurus from Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr, and Outspark have come together to share their knowledge with the masses — and to drink beer. You can watch it all live at geekSessions.com. We'll also be hosting a QA session with the live and online audience so you can participate via the live-stream-chat and have your toughest PHP questions answered.

Speakers include: Lucas Neelan, lead engineer at Facebook, Sara Golemon Sr. Engineer, Yahoo! Inc., Cal Henderson Director of Engineering, Flickr, and Andrei Zmievski Chief Architect, Outspark Inc."

Link to Original Source
Supercomputing

+ - Best Way to Achieve Hardware-Diverse Clustering?

Submitted by
Revotron
Revotron writes "I'm a devout Folding@Home contributor — yes, the kind who gets into Work-Unit-pissing-contests with friends — and I have some modest (400Mhz-1.266Ghz) x86 hardware that I'd like to put to use. I've tried running one process per machine (running Linux, of course) — however, my main roadblock is that I don't have the time to manage seven different F@H processes on seven different machines. I was daydreaming and began to wonder how many limbs I'd have to sacrifice to set up a decent and diverse Linux cluster for grid computing applications. Ease-of-use, ease-of-installation and a graphical interface for a master node are all a must. Dost thou have any ideas, faithful readers?"
Censorship

+ - Australia bans Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back->

Submitted by essence
essence (812715) writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Office of Film and Literature Classification has refused classification of Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back for being too violent.

"..the OFLC said frequent high impact violence made the game unsuitable for those aged under 18 years."
"Successfully shooting an opponent results in the depiction of blood spray," the board said.
"When the enemy is shot from close range, the blood spray is substantial, especially when a high-caliber weapon is used, and blood splatters onto the ground and walls in the environment.""

Link to Original Source
Democrats

+ - Democrats Cave on Spying, telecom immunity->

Submitted by
EllisDees
EllisDees writes "From the Washington Post:

"Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources."

Just why did we vote these jokers into office again?"

Link to Original Source
Security

Federal Government Inadvertently Deleted Ca.Gov 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the did-you-need-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Network World reader whose brother works for a California state agency forwarded me an e-mail alert that his brother received: "The Department of Technology Services (DTS) has notified us that the Federal Government inadvertently deleted the CA.GOV domain. As the evening progresses you may experience an impact in your ability to access some Web sites and exchange e-mail. DTS is working with their federal counterparts to restore service as quickly as possible but service may not be restored until tomorrow morning.""
Linux Business

Dell to Offer More Linux PCs 282

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the one-good-turn dept.
head_dunce writes "According to this article, Mark Shuttleworth from the Ubuntu camp says Dell is seeing a demand for the Linux-based PC and, "There are additional offerings in the pipeline." I'm starting to see flashbacks of the days when Microsoft partnered up with IBM to gain control of the desktop market. Will other Linux flavors find their way to the likes of Lenovo or HP, etc, or will Ubuntu claim the desktop market working with other PC manufacturers?"
Microsoft

Bill Gates Talk From 1989 Surfaces 317

Posted by kdawson
from the hard-to-make-predictions-especially-about-the-future dept.
70sstar writes "A 1-1/2 hour recording of Bill Gates addressing a crowd of university students in 1989 was recently found and digitized, and has been circulating in some IRC channels for the past few weeks. The speech has found a permanent home on the web page of the University of Waterloo CS Club, where the talk is reported to have taken place. Gates covers the past, present, and future of computing as of 1989. While the former two might be of interest to tech historians, the real fascination is Gates's prediction of computing yet to come. Like the now-legendary '640k' remark, some of his comments are almost laughably off-target ('OS/2 is the way of the future!'). And yet, by and large, he had accurately, chillingly, prophesied an entire decade or two of software and hardware development. All in all, a fascinating talk from one of the most powerful speakers in CS and IT."
Politics

Voters Vote Yes, County Says No 645

Posted by kdawson
from the what-part-of-yes-do-you-not-understand dept.
Khyber writes in with a story from Montana, where residents of Missoula County voted in a referendum intended to advise county law-enforcement types to treat marijuana offenses as low-profile. The referendum would not have changed any laws, but was advisory only. After voters approved it, county commissioners overturned it by a 2-to-1 vote. They were swayed by the argument of the county attorney, who had a "gut feeling" that Missoula's electorate had misinterpreted the ballot language. The move has resulted in a flood of disaffection among voters, especially young voters. "Is there even a point to voting any more if the will of the people can so easily be subverted by two people?" one voter posted on a comment blog.

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"

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