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Operating Systems

Plan 9 From Bell Labs Operating System Now Available Under GPLv2 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-kicking dept.
TopSpin writes "Alcatel-Lucent has authorized The University of California, Berkeley to 'release all Plan 9 software previously governed by the Lucent Public License, Version 1.02 under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.' Plan 9 was developed primarily for research purposes as the successor to Unix by the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs between the mid-1980s and 2002. Plan 9 has subsequently emerged as Inferno, a commercially supported derivative, and ports to various platforms, including a recent port to the Raspberry Pi. In Plan 9, all system interfaces, including those required for networking and the user interface, are represented through the file system rather than specialized interfaces. The system provides a generic protocol, 9P, to perform all communication with the system, among processes and with network resources. Applications compose resources using union file systems to form isolated namespaces."
Data Storage

+ - Toshiba claims hard-drive breakthrough ->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Toshiba will detail a breakthrough in data storage later Wednesday that it says paves the way for hard drives with vastly higher capacity than today.

The breakthrough has been made in the research of bit-patterned media, a magnetic storage technology that is being developed for future hard disk drives. In today's drives, magnetic material is spread across the surface of the disk and bits of data are stored across several hundred magnetic grains, but the technology is reaching its limit.

Bit-patterned media breaks up the recording surface into numerous magnetic bits, each consisting of a few magnetic grains. Under a microscope, the magnetic bits look like thousands of tiny spheres crammed next to each another.

Prototypes of the media have been made before but Toshiba says its engineers have, for the first time, succeeded in producing a media sample in which the magnetic bits are organized into a pattern of rows. The rows and gaps between them are important because they act as markers to where data is stored."

Link to Original Source
Technology

+ - Charged with frauding a robot->

Submitted by Kanel
Kanel (1105463) writes "Most of the transactions in stockmarkets today, are handled by automatic or semi-automatic algorithms, so-called "stock market robots". The norwegian daytraders Larsen and Veiby successfully carried out a form of social engineering against one of these stock market robots and could now face up to six years in jail.

The two daytraders, who worked independently, placed a number of sell and buy orders onto the Oslo Stock Exchange. For many of these orders, a deal was never completed. The police claim that Larsen and Veiby placed these orders to manipulate the stock exchange and fool a robot owned by US trading house Timber Hill. The police is quoted in the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv saying that the 2200 buy and sell orders carried out from november 2007 to march 2008 changed the robots' impression of the price of certain stocks, something that Larsen and Veiby took advantage of this.

It should be mentioned here that while the stock exchange announce an "official" price on stocks, many stock market robots analyze buy and sell orders in real-time, to predict the next official update from the stock exchange and gamble against this.
Larsen and Veiby claim that they did not manipulate the robot or the stock exchange in an unlawful manner. Nor were their buy and sell orders "fake". The daytraders took an economic risk as anyone could have taken them up on their buy and sell offers.

In this man versus machine lawsuit, commentators rally in support of the two daytraders, who got the paltry sum of 67 000 USD out of their social engineering scheme. The main argument in their defence is that the stock market robots are gaming each other in the same manner all the time. Is something legal when an algorithm performs it at lightning speed and illegal when a human plays by the same strategy? The robots of Goldman Sachs earned the company a hundred million dollars by a similar trading on small margins and got away with it, but when two humans bested a robot at its own game, they were sued.

Several commenters see the lawsuit as part of an ongoing fight to keep small players out of the stock market. Large actors on the stock market move their computers closer to the stock exchange, with direct connections to it, so that their algorithms get a millisecond headstart against other traders when a buy or sell order is announced. While this high-tech is the norm, it appears infeasible, according to commenters, to let everyone in on robot trading. There is no way for say a student or an independent trader to design and connect a robot trading algorithm to the stock exchange and play the same field as the big robots. In Germany alone, 200 000 people is reported to have left the trading arena because of the robots and the preferential treatment they get at the stock exchanges."

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+ - Restaurant uses social media to exclude patrons->

Submitted by RevWaldo
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "From Gothamist: Five former employees of Bowlmor Lanes in New York have filed a lawsuit against Strike Holdings CEO Tom Shannon, claiming he used social media outlets to keep minorities from making reservations at "one of the city’s hottest and most compelling nightlife venues." The suit claims Shannon met with top executives after "incidents" at Bowlmor's restaurant, Carnival, "to discuss possible ways to exclude certain people...such as African-Americans, Asians and Latinos."...The suit claims the workers were asked to look up prospective patrons on Facebook and MySpace to see how they looked and dressed and where they lived. If they didn't fit the Bowlmor customer ideal, they didn't get a reservation."
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Intel

The Big Technical Mistakes of History 244

Posted by kdawson
from the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time dept.
An anonymous reader tips a PC Authority review of some of the biggest technical goofs of all time. "As any computer programmer will tell you, some of the most confusing and complex issues can stem from the simplest of errors. This article looking back at history's big technical mistakes includes some interesting trivia, such as NASA's failure to convert measurements to metric, resulting in the Mars Climate Orbiter being torn apart by the Martian atmosphere. Then there is the infamous Intel Pentium floating point fiasco, which cost the company $450m in direct costs, a battering on the world's stock exchanges, and a huge black mark on its reputation. Also on the list is Iridium, the global satellite phone network that promised to make phones work anywhere on the planet, but required 77 satellites to be launched into space."
Science

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

Posted by timothy
from the more-guns-less-crime dept.
cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."
Classic Games (Games)

Hasbro Finally Drops Scrabulous Lawsuit 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the triple-word-score dept.
The Associated Press reports that Hasbro Inc. has now dropped the lawsuit it launched earlier this year against Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, the creators of Scrabulous, a Scrabble clone that found a sizable following on Facebook. We previously discussed Scrabulous' return to Facebook under a different name, as well as the "official" Scrabble client, which was not exactly well received. Hasbro's IP rights to the game are limited to North America, and the AP story adds: "Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside of North America, filed a lawsuit against the brothers in India claiming violations of intellectual property. It was not immediately clear what the status of that lawsuit is."

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 1) 588

by forged (#23706829) Attached to: Weak US Dollar Means Nintendo Favors Europe For Now
Outside of the gaming context this story was posted in, it is true that a weak dollar will make stuff cost significantly less for us Europeans traveling to the US. On my last business trip to the US I was able to stockpile on clothing and electronics at a fraction of the cost of these exact same items back home.
Spam

Journal: More 419 scams

Journal by forged
I am an optimist and I keep hoping that if everyone was doing like me, spammers would just stop. But they don't. Anyway.. Here's my standard answer to 419 emails:

Not interested, but thank you.

On the other hand, you may be interested to hear that I have quite a subsequent backup to perform on our system (/dev/random seems to be the largest file or all) and I am asking volunteers all over the internet to help me keep a small portion of my backup for me.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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