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+ - Interview of Alistair G. Crooks, President of the 2

Submitted by
NetBSDfr
NetBSDfr writes "Since June 2009, the french speaking NetBSD advocacy group, NetBSDfr, has started a series of interviews with NetBSD developers. These interviews are available on the brand new NetBSD Blog :

This month, NetBSDfr had the chance to discuss with Alistair G. Crooks, president of The NetBSD Foundation. Since Alistair is one of NetBSD's early hackers, he gave us a very unique point of view on many aspects, including what makes NetBSD so special as well as the future he foresees for the Operating System."

Unix

+ - NetBSD 5.0 released

Submitted by kl76
kl76 (445787) writes "The NetBSD Project have announced the release of NetBSD 5.0 after two years of development. Highlights of the seven million new lines of code in 5.0 include a new threads implementation, kernel preemption, a new scheduler, POSIX real-time scheduling, message queues and asynchronous I/O, WAPBL metadata journaling for FFS filesystems, improved ACPI support, UDF write support, X.Org instead of XFree86 (on some platforms — at last!) and lots of driver updates. Binary distributions for 53 different platforms are provided."
Communications

Cross-Platform Video Chat For Linux? 338

Posted by timothy
from the would-be-nice dept.
Ethan1701 writes "Some of my friends are using iChat to stay in touch and gap the distance of the Atlantic. I'm feeling left out on my Fedora Gnome based desktop. Is there a good program for Gnome that provides cross-platform instant messaging and video chat? This rules out Skype and aMSN, as well as any other app that's specific for the ICQ/AOL Network. Kopete is for KDE. Pidgin doesn't intend to develop video-chat, I haven't found a plugin for it that provides video, and Gaim-vv hasn't been developed in over two years and is so out of date that it's still going by Gaim and not Pidgin. Do Slashdot readers have an application that meets these needs? Maybe even one that surpasses iChat?"
Earth

Teen Discovers Plastic-Decomposing Bacteria 209

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the here-comes-the-study-claiming-it-causes-cancer dept.
ganelo writes to tell us that 16-year-old Waterloo Collegiate Institute student Danel Burd has made quite a stir with his plastic-eating bacteria discovery. For his efforts Burd won top prize at a Canada-wide science fair claiming a $10,000 prize and a $20,000 scholarship. "Tests to identify the strains found strain two was Sphingomonas bacteria and the helper was Pseudomonas. A researcher in Ireland has found Pseudomonas is capable of degrading polystyrene, but as far as Burd and his teacher Mark Menhennet know -- and they've looked -- Burd's research on polyethelene plastic bags is a first."
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Harmonix: Activision Is Preventing Rock Band Patch-> 1

Submitted by
XueCast
XueCast writes "Many gamers have asked for guitar controller compatibility between Guitar Hero and Rock Band, because of that, Harmonix had developed a patch that can make that happen. The compatibility patch has allegedly been approved by Sony Computer Entertainment, and is ready to be released. But Activision, the publisher of the Guitar Hero series is not very happy with the patch at all, and the patch's release is currently being blocked by the Santa Monica based video game publisher company."
Link to Original Source
Software

+ - Ten years of pkgsrc - Interviews->

Submitted by
hubertf
hubertf writes "10 years ago — on October 3rd 1997 — the pkgsrc software management system was created by Alistair Crooks and Hubert Feyrer. pkgsrc, the NetBSD Packages Collection, was intended primarily as a packaging system for NetBSD. Derived from the FreeBSD Ports system, pkgsrc became a success story. Today, pkgsrc is a cross-platform framework, running on the BSDs, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, many Unix derivatives, and even on QNX and Windows.

Mark Weinem has made inverviews with lots of developers of pkgsrc and related projects, among them the original pkgsrc creators, but also users and developers of pkgsrc and related projects, like the FreeBSD and OpenBSD ports collection as well as MacPorts.

Overall, this article is a fine lesson in history of source based packaging system that also goes much beyond pkgsrc itself."

Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - NetBSD boosts MySQL performance->

Submitted by
hubertf
hubertf writes "Andrew Doran, who was recently hired by the NetBSD project to work on NetBSD's SMP implementation, has done a lot of good work, and he has merged some of his work from the vmlocking-branch into NetBSD-current. Effects of this are that time for build.sh on a quad-Opteron went down by ~10%.

Andrew also updated his previous benchmarks, and posted about his recent results: ``Most of the sysbench runs that I've seen to date have sysbench running on the same machine as the database. That's a good test but with the exception of small installations and out-of-band activity, production setups rarely look like that. So I ran sysbench itself on a seperate dual core system.''

There are images that compare NetBSD 3 with NetBSD-current (where most of Andrew's changes are now), and NetBSD-current compared to Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.

The original benchmarks didn't include Solaris/x86, so Jaime Fournier sat down and repeated the test (on a single system). The results show that NetBSD beats Solaris by ~25% in the ReadOnly test, and that they're about on par in the ReadWrite test, with NetBSD kicking in earlier WRT the number of client threads, but Solaris keeping up longer before they both degrade. The courves are quite similar, and my guess is that there is some room for finetuning there."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Password exposure in Lotus Notes->

Submitted by
juct
juct writes "A debug function in version 5 and up of Lotus Notes can be used to write a file containing the new password in plain text when a user password is changed. This function has been designed to bring more transparency into password quality verification. If two additional lines are entered in the Notes.INI configuration file, Notes will log the evaluation. Accordings to heise Security the configuration change can even be activated from remote by an administrator."
Link to Original Source
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Universal downgrade for Sony PSP->

Submitted by
javipas
javipas writes "The PlayStation Portable made by Sony is a wonderful device for all its user base, but it's even more great for those that have been able to run homebrew applications. The firmware upgrading roadmap had made impossible to downgrade certain consoles to a 'homebrewable' firmware, but a new exploit called Illuminati has been discovered to allow this task. Using a Lumines original game UMD anyone can now access the kernel mode that allows to run any kind of homebrew application. For the moment only a little "Hello World!" demo has been released, but soon a universal downgrader will allow any PSP user to access any kind of homebrew application/task. Running games from the memory card included, of course."
Link to Original Source

Electrode hats to exploit soldiers' subconscious powers->

From feed by registerfeed
Helmet mind-probe madness at DARPA

Those wacky boffins at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have outdone themselves. The US military researchers are engaged in an effort to produce "soldier portable" digital imaging systems which can pick out "vehicle and dismount" threats 1-10 km away over a 120-degree or greater field of view, by scanning the user's brain.


Link to Original Source
Censorship

Digg.com Attempts To Suppress HD-DVD Revolt 1142

Posted by kdawson
from the toothpaste-back-in-the-tube dept.
fieryprophet writes "An astonishing number of stories related to HD-DVD encryption keys have gone missing in action from digg.com, in many cases along with the account of the diggers who submitted them. Diggers are in open revolt against the moderators and are retaliating in clever and inventive ways. At one point, the entire front page comprised only stories that in one way or another were related to the hex number. Digg users quickly pointed to the HD DVD sponsorship of Diggnation, the Digg podcast show. Search digg for HD-DVD song lyrics, coffee mugs, shirts, and more for a small taste of the rebellion." Search Google for a broader picture; at this writing, about 283,000 pages contain the number with hyphens, and just under 10,000 without hyphens. There's a song. Several domain names including variations of the number have been reserved. Update: 05/02 05:44 GMT by J : New blog post from Kevin Rose of Digg to its users: "We hear you."

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