stovicek writes "GNOME 2.30 was originally intended to coincide with GNOME 3.0 — a massive cleanup and rethinking of the popular desktop. However, GNOME 3.0 is delayed for at least another release, which leaves GNOME 2.30 as most likely the last version in a series stretching back almost a decade. [...] 2.30 will probably be the final version of the 2.0 series. For those who were around for GNOME 2.0 back in 2000, the 2.30 release stands as evidence of how far GNOME in general and the free desktop in particular have come in the last decade in usability and design. If you do a search for images of early GNOME releases and compare the results with 2.30, you can have no doubt that, although GNOME sometimes tends to over-simplify, its improvements over the last decade remain unmistakable."
theodp writes "If you've ever wondered how it's possible that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric, Forbes has an explanation. You, my friend, do not have the tax benefit of overseas operations. Microsoft, for example, has its overseas subsidiaries license software to its US parent company in return for handsome royalties that get taxed at lower overseas rates. Exxon limits its tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands that shelter cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan, and Abu Dhabi. As a result, of the $15B it paid in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas. Likewise, GE has $84B in overseas income parked indefinitely outside the US. Now quit your carping and get back to filling out that 1040!"
wehe writes "The first fruit of the cooperation between Intel and Nokia is available: the first release of MeeGo. MeeGo is a merge of the former Maemo and Moblin Linux distros. What is available now is 'The MeeGo distribution infrastructure and the operating system base from the Linux kernel to the OS infrastructure up to the middleware layer. The MeeGo architecture is based on a common core across the different usage models, such as netbooks, handheld, in-vehicle, and connected TV.' The images available now for download are suitable for Intel Atom-based netbooks, ARM-based Nokia N900, and Intel Atom-based handset (Moorestown). RPM repositories as well as git source repositories are there for download, too."
CWmike writes "A hedge fund that is already one of Novell's largest shareholders offered on Tuesday to acquire the struggling, cash-rich enterprise software maker for $2 billion. The unsolicited offer, from New York-based Elliot Associates L.P., is for $5.75 per share in cash, a dollar per share more than Novell's closing price Tuesday of $4.75. The offer caused Novell's stock to leap 29% to $6.15 in after-hours trading. Because Novell is so cash-rich — it had $991 million in cash and equivalents at the end of January (PDF) — Elliott says the deal values Novell as an enterprise alone at about $1 billion."
Lanxon writes to mention that Antro, a Hungarian car manufacturer, is developing a new electric car that can split into two smaller cars. Antro plans to have it on the market by 2012. "The environmentally-conscious company started research back in 2002 and, with backing from various local sponsors, has invested 1.5 million euros in market research and development of a working prototype. The Antro Solo concept is a three-passenger car, with a hybrid drive and solar cells on its roof that the company says could generate enough electricity for up to 20km a day at city speeds. Futuristic looking in itself, the grander plan for the car is much more audacious: Antro intends to allow users to be able to connect two Antro Solos to form a six-passenger Antro Duo. Or perhaps more interesting still, owners of a Duo could split the car into two smaller Solos should Mum have different weekend plans to Dad. Or if they divorce."
Joel writes "Over six months ago, Google announced it would start phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6 on Orkut and YouTube, and started pushing its users to modern browsers. The search giant has now given a specific kill date for old browser support on the video website: 'Support stops on March 13th. Stopped support essentially means that some future features on YouTube will be rolled out that won't work in older browsers.'"
jargon82 writes "A Pennsylvania high school is using laptops they issued to students to spy on them in homes and outside of school. According to a class action filling the webcams and microphones in these laptops could be remotely activated by school officials, and have been used in this role. One student was accused of 'improper behavior in his home' and the school provided a photo taken via his laptop as proof."
artemis writes "Comcast is making efforts to repair and restore its 'former glory' by the act of transformation, rebranding itself as Xfinity. Hopefully step 2 is an actual change in quality and customer service. 'Comcast will use the Xfinity rebranding to talk up its improved customer service as well as its technical upgrades. “There’s a lot to be proud of,’’ said Steve Hackley, Comcast’s senior vice president for the Greater Boston region. “We want to take credit for it.’’ W2 Group’s Weber said such a rebranding is “a bit old-fashioned’’ and a new name is unlikely to impress consumers. “I think the public is smarter than that now,’’ he said.'"
FleaPlus writes "Alabama politicians have formed a 'task force' dedicated to fighting NASA's new plans to cancel the costly Constellation/Ares program, which is largely based in Alabama. The chronically mismanaged Constellation project attempted to build new rockets in-house and replicate an Apollo-style lunar program with minimal investment in new technologies. NASA's new boosted budget revives formerly suppressed R&D efforts into critical technologies needed for a sustainable push towards Mars and intermediate waypoint destinations, works with (instead of trying to compete with) existing commercial rockets to transport cargo/crew to orbit, and funds a stream of robotic precursor missions to scout other worlds and demonstrate new technologies. The Alabama task force fighting the new plan includes former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin and former Ares project manager Steve Cook."
An anonymous reader writes "A couple of times in my career, I've inherited a fairly large (30-40 thousand lines) collection of code. The original authors knew it because they wrote it; I didn't, and I don't. I spend a huge amount of time finding the right place to make a change, far more than I do changing anything. How would you learn such a big hunk of code? And how discouraged should I be that I can't seem to 'get' this code as well as the original developers?"
Lanxon writes "British criminals should soon prepare to be shot at from unmanned airborne police robots. Last month it was revealed that modified military aircraft drones will carry out surveillance on everyone from British protesters and antisocial motorists to fly-tippers. But these drones could be armed with tasers, non-lethal projectiles and ultra-powerful disorienting strobe lighting apparatus, reports Wired. The flying robot fleet will range from miniature tactical craft such as the miniature AirRobot being tested by one police force, to BAE System's new 12m-wide armed HERTI drone as flown in Afghanistan."
Hugh Pickens writes "The Raw Story reports that terrorists who want to overthrow the United States government must now register with South Carolina's Secretary of State and declare their intentions — or face a $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. The 'Subversive Activities Registration Act' passed last year in South Carolina and now officially on the books states that 'every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States ... shall register with the Secretary of State.'"
darthcamaro writes "In 2007, Red Hat launched the Red Hat Exchange (RHX) — an appstore, if you will, of open source partner applications sold from a Red Hat website. Sounds like a good idea, right? While an appstore works well for Apple, turns out that an appstore for open source (from a Linux vendor) isn't such a good idea. 'When we came out with RHX we were hoping for more ambitious adoption but we've learned that selling third-party applications via a marketplace is challenging,' Mike Evans, Red Hat's vice president of corporate development said. 'When you've got marketplaces that offer buyers the choice of buying in the marketplace or directly from the vendor themselves, which is what our marketplace was, there isn't a real efficient marketplace.'"
MojoKid writes "An inside source over at HotHardware reports that AT&T will lose their iPhone exclusivity on 1/27, coincident with Apple's upcoming press event next week, though it's not yet clear what other carriers will be stepping in to pick up the iPhone. For anyone who has followed the saga, you may notice that you haven't seen AT&T fighting to extend their original exclusive agreement as of late. In fact, they have spent most of their time fighting Verizon's negative ad campaigns. This may not be all that surprising. Inside of AT&T, word is that the iPhone is causing more trouble than ever before. On some level, having the iPhone is hurting AT&T's image. Do you remember hearing about AT&T's 'horrible network' before the iPhone? The iPhone itself doesn't really handle the switch from 3G to EDGE very gracefully, so calls that are in-progress tend to fail whenever 3G connections aren't optimal and the phone attempts to step down to EDGE. It seems that AT&T may finally be tired of taking the heat."
ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."