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Book Reviews

Minimal Perl for Unix and Linux People 332

Ravi writes "Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) — the language which was created by Larry Wall is arguably one of the greatest programming languages. But it has a reputation for taking an excessive cryptic nature which gives it an image especially among Perl novices as a language which is complex and hard to master. Minimal Perl: for Unix and Linux people, authored by Tim Maher and published by Manning Publications addresses the obstacles presented by Perl's complexity. This book which is divided into two parts comprising of a total of 12 chapters takes a unique methodology to explain the Perl syntax and its use. The author emphasizes on Perl's grep, awk and sed like features and relys on concepts such as inputs, filters and arguments to allow Unix users to directly apply their existing knowledge to the task of learning Perl." Read on for the rest of Ravi's review.
Data Storage

Submission + - Simple file naming protocol?

zombieelvis writes: I've recently starting working for a medium sized post-graduate school that is undergoing a HUGE growth spurt. With these new changes, our departments are starting to share files with one another. However, as we have no protocol for naming these files, we have files being duplicated, deleted, and lost. The problem is getting worse each day and I've been asked to come up with a solution. What type of system do you use to name your word/powerpoint/excel files? What would you recommend if you were in my shoes?
Programming

Submission + - notMac Challenge to Create Open Source .Mac

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday in his blog for the New York Times, David Pogue wrote up the notMac Challenge. The site's raising contributions from the public to encourage the development of an open-source alternative to Apple's .Mac service. The post mentions that "the value of the prize pool has grown to over $6,000", but when I checked out the site this morning the total had grown to over $7,100.
Music

Yahoo Music Chief Comes Out Against DRM 304

waired writes "It seem that a trend has begun in the music industry after Steve Jobs essay. Now a senior Yahoo chief has spoken out in favor of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' call for major labels to abandon digital rights technology (DRM). It points out that consumers are getting confused and that the Microsoft DRM "doesn't work half the time"."
Google

Google News Found Guilty of Copyright Violation 223

schmiddy writes "A court in Brussels, Belgium, has just found Google guilty of violating copyright law with its Google News aggregator. According to the ruling, Google News' links and brief summaries of news sources violates copyright law. Google will be forced to pay $32,600 for each day it displayed the links of the plaintiffs. Although Google plans to appeal, this ruling could have chilling effects on fair use rights on the web in the rest of Europe as well if other countries follow suit."
The Internet

Submission + - Do we need "root servers" for important DT

pcause writes: Recently there was a glitch when someone at Netscape took down a page that had an important DTD (RSS) used by many applications and services. This got me thinking that many or all of the important DTDs that software and commerce depend on are hosted at various commercial entities. Is this a sane way to build an XML based Internet infrastructure? Companies come and go and get bought all the time. This means that the storage ad availability of those DTDs is in constant jeopardy.

It strikes me that we need an infrastructure akin to the root server structure to hold the key DTDs that are used throughout the industry. Perhaps W3C should operate this. But how would we pay for this?

Well, ./, what do you think?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Amazon asserts right to adjust prices after sale

An anonymous reader writes: On December 23, Amazon advertised a "buy one get one free" sale on DVD boxsets, but did not test the promotion before going live. When anyone placed two boxsets in their cart, the website gave a double discount — so the "grand total" shown (before order submission) was $0.00 or something very small. Despite terms stating that Amazon checks order prices before shipping, Amazon shipped the vast majority of orders. Five days later (December 28), after orders had been received and presumably opened, Amazon emailed customers advising them to return the boxsets unopened or customers' credit cards would be charged an additional amount. (You can read more threads about this here and here.) Starting yesterday, Amazon has been (re)charging credit cards, often without authorization. On Amazon's side, they didn't advertise any double discount, and the free or nearly-free boxsets must have cost them a mint. But with Amazon continually giving unadvertised discounts that seem to be errors, is "return the merchandise or be charged" the new way that price glitches will be handled?

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner

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