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Hardware Hacking

Submission + - PS3 Firmware Jailbreak Released by Geohot (

Stoobalou writes: A second hacked firmware for Sony's PlayStation 3 has made it into the wild thanks to iPhone hacker George 'Gehot' Hotz.

The fiddled firmware, which has been cracked using the private key discovered by hacking group fail0verflow and publicly distributed by Hotz will unlock version 3.55 of the PS3 operating system to acertain degree but will not remove copy protection.

Submission + - Ubuntu Software for Musical Keyboards 1

pipingguy writes: Mid-last year I converted my mother to Ubuntu from XP after her computer crapped out (again). She's happy with the new OS, but she can't watch videos sometime and the converter I got her doesn't work with Ubuntu.

Is there any help out there getting her cable to work with her piano?

She has the Roland/Cakewalk UM-1G already.

Submission + - Hosting Company Appears to be Violating the GPL ( 2 writes: "A web hosting provider called Appnor has recently moved the network diagnostics utility WinMTR off of SourceForge, and is now claiming the program to be a closed source, commercial application (it was previously made available under the GPL). I emailed the current maintainer of the original mtr utility about this, and have been informed that this event most likely constitutes an overt GPL violation, as it is presumed that WinMTR contains mtr code. Appnor claims that they have the right to do this, as there have been no external contributions to WinMTR in over ten years. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think copyright law works that way."
Linux Business

Is LGP Going the Way of Loki Software? 124

An anonymous reader writes "After the demise of Loki Software, Linux Game Publishing sprouted up in its place, and for the past nine years has ported a number of games to Linux. But LGP may now be sharing the same fate as Loki. Linux Game Publishing hasn't updated its blog or news pages in months, has stopped responding to e-mails, and its only active ports are games they began work on in 2002/2003."
GNU is Not Unix

Denmark Chooses OpenDocument Format 198

Seahawk was one of several readers to write in with news of Denmark's decision to embrace ODF. "On Friday morning Denmark decided to choose ODF over Microsoft's OOXML. For now the decision is only effective for governmental institutions, but regions and municipalities will most likely follow some time in the future. The decision has unfolded over a period of four years, and many open source advocates were fearing the worst, but it looks like the minister finally caved in and listened to what a lot of people were saying." While in transition away from Microsoft Office formats, the Danes may find use for this new OpenOffice integration guide (sent in by reader AdeleWard).

The Languages of "The Office" 147

Venkat Rao has followed up his analysis of office dynamics as reflected in The Office, which we discussed last month, with one titled Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk. The Office is running a little thin of meaty examples to make his points in delineating the ways of PowerTalk — the language of the Sociopaths — so Rao reaches out to Goodfellas, Wall Street, The Boiler Room, and Making Jack Falcone. The entire analysis illuminates and is illuminated by a diagram of the disparate languages that Sociopaths, the Clueless, and Losers speak to each other and among themselves.

Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs? 277

mrchaotica writes "I'm in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I've looked at have various 'Internet TV' features (here are Samsung's and Panasonic's). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a 'standard?'). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic's case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it's easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don't know the extent to which that support actually exists. Here are my questions: 1) Is this 'Internet TV' thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick? 2) Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly? 3) Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?"
The Internet

Disney Strikes Against Net Neutrality 442

1 a bee writes "Ars Technica is running a story by Matthew Lasar about how Disney's is charging ISPs for 'bulk' access to their content. According to the article, if you visit ESPN using a 'non-subscribing' ISP, you're greeted with a message explaining why access is restricted for you. This raises a number of issues: '... it's one thing to charge users an access fee, another to charge the ISP, potentially passing the cost on to all the ISPs subscribers whether they're interested in the content or not.' Ironically, the issue came to the fore in a complaint from the American Cable Association (ACA) to the FCC. A quoted ACA press release warns, 'Media giants are in the early stages of becoming Internet gatekeepers by requiring broadband providers to pay for their Web-based content and services and include them as part of basic Internet access for all subscribers. These content providers are also preventing subscribers who are interested in the content from independently accessing it on broadband networks of providers that have refused to pay.' So, is this a real threat to net neutrality (and the end-to-end principle) or just another bad business model that doesn't stand a chance?"

Office 2007SP2 ODF Interoperability Very Bad 627

David Gerard writes "Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 claims support for ODF 1.1. With hard work and careful thinking, they have successfully achieved technical compliance but zero interoperability! MSO 2007sp2 won't read ODF 1.1 from any other existing application, and its ODF is only readable by the CleverAge plugin. The post goes into detail as to how it manages this so thoroughly."

Enterprise FOSS Adoption Beyond Linux Servers? 227

An anonymous reader writes "I am working with a couple of large companies that are purchasing web and collaboration software stacks from Microsoft, IBM and others. These are for thousands of end users and are (supposedly) ready for multiple data center deployment and other big-corp requirements. I have suggested some open source alternatives such as Liferay and Drupal, and the technical people are interested but management types are not. They have given a few reasons, such as concerns over supportability and enterprise-readiness, but my feeling is that they are being won over by FUD from large vendors and the fact that most corps do not have significant deployments of FOSS technologies beyond Linux yet. All this seems to be in line with a survey on Web-app servers by OpenLogic. So my questions are: How have you persuaded larger enterprises to adopt server-side OSS, beyond server-room Linux and a couple of demo JBoss boxes under someone's desk? And which products are truly ready for enterprise-scale deployment?"
Data Storage

AnandTech Gives the Skinny On Recent SSD Offerings 96

omnilynx writes "With capacity on the rise and prices falling, solid state drives are finally starting to compete with traditional hard drives. However, there are still several issues to take into account when moving to an SSD, not to mention choosing between a widening array of offerings. Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech does a better job than anyone could expect detailing those issues (especially those related to performance) and reviewing the new offerings in the SSD arena. Intel's X25 series comes out on top for sheer speed, but OCZ makes a surprise turnaround with its Vertex drive giving perhaps the best value."

Open Source Software For Experimental Physics? 250

jmizrahi writes "I've recently started working in experimental physics. Quite a few programs are used in the lab for assorted purposes — Labview, Igor, Inventor, Eagle, to name just a few. They are all proprietary. This seems to be standard practice, which surprised me. Does anybody know of any open source software intended for scientific research? Does anybody work in a lab that makes an effort to use open source software?"

Happy 25th, Macintosh! 296

bradgoodman writes to tell us that tomorrow will mark the 25th anniversary of the first Macintosh, debuting just 2 days after the famous Super Bowl XVIII commercial. "'The Macintosh demonstrated that it was possible and profitable to create a machine to be used by millions and millions of people,' said Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, research director for the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto, California, think tank, and chief force behind 'Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley,' an online historical exhibit. 'The gold standard now for personal electronics is, "Is it easy enough for my grandmother to use it?" People on the Macintosh project were the first people to talk about a product in that way.'"

An Early Look At New Features In 3.1 260

ahziem writes "With the final release two months away and an alpha version available, it's time to look at 3.1's new features: eye candy, better charts, replying to notes in the margin, overlining, macros in Base, RTL improvements for Arabic and Hebrew, and (believe it or not) better sorting. Download and report any bugs you find."

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.