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Programming

+ - 'The Code Has Already Been Written'

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "John D. Cook points out there's a major divide between the way scientists and programmers view the software they write. Scientists see their software as a kind of exoskeleton, an extension of themselves. Programmers, on the other hand, see their software as something they will hand over to someone else, more like building a robot. To a scientist, the software soup's done when they get what they want out of it, while professional programmers give more thought to reproducibility, maintainability, and correctness. So what happens when the twain meet? 'The real tension,' says Cook, 'comes when a piece of research software is suddenly expected to be ready for production. The scientist will say 'the code has already been written' and can't imagine it would take much work, if any, to prepare the software for its new responsibilities. They don't understand how hard it is for an engineer to turn an exoskeleton into a self-sufficient robot.'"

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391614) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set
Thank you, I now understand where the problem is. Still, I'm not so sure this would be so easy to fix.

They could have given permission to distribute a document without restriction when the fonts are embedded in it, and everything would have been OK.

What if I want to distribute a document containing the embedded fonts while imposing some restrictions on the document itself? Would I be able to do that if you only give me permissions to distribute the document without restriction? But maybe I'm mixing up without restriction and without restrictions :)

In the end, you are right, this is indeed a perfect example why it should be the lawyers who do the wording of licenses.

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391242) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set

The license only says that the license "does not apply to any document created using the Font Software", not that the license does not apply *at all* once the font is embedded.

A little clarification, it's not the license that does not apply to documents created with the font, but the requirement that the font can only be distributed under the same license. Here is the precise text about this exception:

5) The Font Software, modified or unmodified, in part or in whole, must be distributed entirely under this license, and must not be distributed under any other license. The requirement for fonts to remain under this license does not apply to any document created using the Font Software.

Comment: Re:There is a much bigger problem than "0" and "O" (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32391122) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set

The problem in this case is that the license allows conversion of the font to any other license or public domain once it is embedded in a document. The license explicitly says that it no longer applies once the font's embedded. And the authors didn't realize that if you extract the font from the document, the license doesn't come back!

I find your interpretation of the license quite strange (but, well, I am not a lawyer). The license only says that the license "does not apply to any document created using the Font Software", not that the license does not apply *at all* once the font is embedded. If you extract a font out of the document, I suppose you obtain a copy of the original font, or at least a modified version of the original font, and the license does explicitly cover copies and modified versions. I would expect this holds for any copy or modified version, no matter by which process they were obtained.

I think that for free font licenses allowing the fonts to be embedded without posing restrictions on the license of the document is of paramount importance. Do you know any other font license that allows this form of embedding and is for sure lawyer-proof?

Comment: Re:Slow news day... (Score 1) 100

by hritcu (#32388136) Attached to: STIX Project Releases v1.0 of Its Scientific Fonts Set
I'm very happy they pulled it through in the end! I also agree that this is a very significant contribution to open source, and we must be grateful to the people who designed these fonts. I'm also very happy that in the end they chose an OSI-approved license, which will allow this font to be part of all Linux distributions. At the same time, it's hard not to notice not only the "schedule slippage" of 10 years or so, but also the fact that although they clearly had no clue how long this was going to take, they were always giving people false hope, by making very precise (but completely, completely off) "estimations" about when the project was going to be finished. By doing so, they just made idiots out of themselves, and gave the impression that the whole project is just vaporware. Should they have refrained from making such stupid predictions, and just informed the public about the progress they are making, there would be a lot less people feeling (rightfully!) deceived. And do you think whoever manages this project has learned anything out of this? I don't think so! They are already giving "estimations" about when versions 1.1 and 1.2 will be out. Why on earth do they insist in trying to deceive everyone with their "estimations"? They already showed how terrible they are at estimating how long their work takes.
Intel

+ - Intel reveals Penryn family CPU details

Submitted by
Steve Kerrison
Steve Kerrison writes "Coming in the second half of 2007 is a new family of CPU cores for Core 2 desktop and Xeon products. Today, Intel's lifted the veil on some of the technology it's successfully implemented on the new 45nm chips. It reckons 'other' CPU manufacturers won't be using such technologies until a 32nm process. HEXUS.net looks at the technology in Penryn: 'Intel say they've achieved a greater than 5x reduction in source-drain leakage power and a greater than 10x reduction in gate oxide leakage power, compared to current 65nm processes.'"
XBox (Games)

+ - First Xbox 360 Homebrew Emulator - XNASharpNES

Submitted by
Ikari
Ikari writes "Awesome news for XNA gamers, Bryan Livingston and Adam Helps have created the first homebrew emulator for the XBox 360 using XNA. XNASharpNES is a NES emulator in its early stages. They note at the current stage "It runs at 60% or 70% of normal speed on the 360, so it's playable but slow. There's probably some very easy optimizations and cleanups to be done still. Right now there is no rom loading menu, so to switch roms you have to include the rom in the SharpNES360 project and set it to 'Copy to Output Directory', then edit the filename in Program.cs. Anybody who would like to try this emulator should remember that it "requires a creators club account which runs $99 a year or $49 for four months. You'll also need Visual C# Studio Express which is free.""
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft wanted to "whack" Dell

Submitted by pboyd2004
pboyd2004 (860767) writes "According to emails obtained in Iowa's antitrust case against Microsoft. Microsoft wanted to "whack" Dell over their Linux sales. "We should whack them, we should make sure they understand our value," wrote Paul Flessner, a senior vice president in Microsoft's server applications unit. The email exchange can be found here."
Google

+ - Google Responds to criticism - by deleting it

Submitted by Matt423
Matt423 (1056378) writes "Information week reports about changes to Google Groups: Google Groups users, however, detest the changes, at least those who have gone to the effort of posting. While there's probably a silent majority that ranges from neutral to enthusiastic about the new interface and features, the users posting their opinions online have few nice things to say. A person posting as "Matty F" wrote, "This new version of Google Groups is almost completely unusable. Can we have the old one back please?" Such sentiment reflects a common theme among the disgruntled users. Another poster identifying himself as "Rich Jordan" wrote, "I'll have to add my dismay over this change. The new interface is ugly and slow compared to the previous one, and much, much less intuitive." "The new interface is really awful," a person with the user name Gabriele complained. Google apparently rushed into action today and apparently deleted or scattered hundred of posts that were critical including one thread that had almost 100 posts. http://www.informationweek.com/industries/showArti cle.jhtml?articleID=197000377 http://groups.google.com/group/Google%20Groups-Bas ics/browse_thread/thread/12b929f18ed762a7"
OS X

+ - Court Documents Show Microsoft's Tiger Envy

Submitted by
phillymjs
phillymjs writes "PC Pro is reporting on another juicy e-mail nugget from the Sent Items of Jim Allchin, (nyud link, PDF) courtesy of Iowa's Comes v. Microsoft trial. It's a lengthy e-mail conversation from late June, 2004 — in which several Microsofties ooh and ahh over features of the yet-unreleased Mac OS X 10.4. IMHO the award for best quote goes to Lenn Pryor, who said, 'It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn land today.'"

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