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Government

+ - Help me fight the swiss dmca.->

Submitted by
pyalot
pyalot writes "The swiss goverment has passed a law that would make it impossible to cirvumvent effective copy protection measures. I have created a page to inform and organize a resistance against this law. If we collect 50'000 signatures until the 24th of January however, we can force a national vote on this law. Help me in any way that you can fight this law. I was first made aware of this two days ago by this article on slashdot."
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Software

+ - Pidgin Developers Refuse to Support Slackware

Submitted by
binary1011100
binary1011100 writes "Pidgin (formely gaim) angered many slackware users when they made the following statement on their wiki:

"We have no developers using Slack, and furthermore, several of us actively dislike that distribution for its history of broken installs, as well as for its non-existant package management. You cannot create true packages for Slack." The wiki has since been changed There is also a discussion on Linux Questions concerning this issue.

Clearly whoever wrote the original wiki entry is very small minded, variation is one of the things that makes FOSS so great, it's the freedom to choose what you want to use, I feel this kind of bad attitude lowers the FOSS movement. Ultimatley if the developers won't support Slackware just because it's not what they use, then I think this says more about them than it does about Slackware."
Software

+ - Microsoft to update its Vista logo

Submitted by
myXworld
myXworld writes "TECH.BLORGE.com is reporting about the coming of a new Vista logo along with a new hardware requirement in 2008...which says Starting from June, 2008, Microsoft reportedly plans to require DirectX 10-compatible graphics adapter inside systems with "Windows Vista Premium" logo. This decision will likely do enough to differentiate between what a Vista capable system and what a Vista Premium capable system is."
Privacy

+ - Identification through Reverse DNS?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "I've recently noticed that the reverse DNS name given to my IP from my ISP contains my mac address. It seems to me that regardless of IP address/dhcp logs that this could serve as a permanent unique identifier for a person. How many other ISPs do this? Are we clearing our google cookies periodically for nothing? Is this a privacy hole that should be closed up? I can see the ISPs internally being able to recognize their clients uniquely, but to the rest of the Internet is it a security violation for people to be tracked by an unchanging hostname?"
Graphics

+ - NVIDIA Demo: Ultra Realistic Human Head

Submitted by
Bozdemir
Bozdemir writes "Finally we will able to control real-like characters, Nvidia unleashed a new technology, this is a nice proof of what will the future games will look like, ultra realism ! It is a new epoch ! Take look at the screen shots. (These are real time screen shots, not a render of hours-long processing :) ) , this is a demo made for GeForce 8800 Ultra, you may learn the details from the demo site of Nvidia. Check out it now ! http://www.buraak.com/2007/05/24/nvidia-demo-human -head/"
The Internet

+ - Emerging patterns in modern website design

Submitted by
engadven
engadven writes "We design has grown from almost nothing to a huge global industry in little more than 10 years. The technologies we use have changed significantly and this article discusses current trends to see how websites will be designed differently in the future.
Early website design was dominated by the fact that most people got it wrong. We thought that making elaborate designs with super cool Flash intros would tempt people to stay on our sites, but in fact it just made them difficult to or add content and distracted people's eyes from reading the message. Now the requirements for CSS compliance, accessibility, SEO and content syndication have brought a huge commonality in form and function.
Early sites were created in WYSIWYG editors, but these have never been good for working with external stylesheets and many designers have already gone back to their basic text editors. I'm sure there will be good visual editors emerging although the modular format of CSS may see the usable of code libraries being preferred.
Another factor spelling the end of WYSIWYG editors is the benefit of keeping content 100% separate from design so that any site can be given a complete new look in an instant. Also the ease and speed with which large sites can be created with modern CMS packages means that creating each page with a custom layout or by hand will no longer be effective. Again the consistent approach of a CMS is not seen as boring by the user but just easier to navigate around. Blogging has revolutionised the amount of content being created by giving relatively unskilled users the ability to create nice looking, compliant sites, very quickly and easily. It's the blogging technology's basic approach that has allowed it to succeed and this will definitely transfer to traditional websites. Firstly the simple structure is easy for users to follow and makes creating and updating the site very easy. The templates are also basic and easy to customise so unique designs are easy to achieve. Blogging is also mindset that has motivated a lot more people to put information online where they could not or would not have built a website. Perhaps now these same people will start to create websites using the blog technologies and remove the need for a web designer completely.
Ultimately one type of CMS will never be the best for every situation so I'm sure web developers will still be needed to set up the appropriate program for each client. This will probably include a traditional online database CMS and page generator like a blog, wiki or client side solutions. For larger sites where several people need to update the content remotely then an online version is a must, but for the majority of information sites that are created by developers for their clients then a page generator may be more appropriate. These generate lots of sites from one installation so the initial time to build and more importantly, the time to maintain or upgrade later is much reduced. Real page generators can also produce much better structured, low bandwidth, reliable pages which don't suffer the drop in performance caused by high levels of server processing requests when running several online CMS packages on the same server.
Here is a summary of some of the key factors that may determine the future.
1. CSS will stay. The browser bugs will go and growing modular libraries will make it quicker.
2. CMS for every site. 100% split of content and design is a must. The justification for laying out each page separately will be rare.
3. Usability over unique design. Common layouts with text based, accessible menus rather than over complicated designs.
4. Speed and simplicity. Blogging has delivered much more online content because it is so quick and easy. Commercial CMS solutions will become just as easy.
5. Customisable templates. Although site layouts and operation will be very similar, clients will always want individuality and branding so CMS templates will be even more flexible and easy to configure.
6. Maintenance services. If website solutions are instance we won't need so many traditional web designers. However, clients rarely like add their own content so this service will grow.
7. eMarketing services. Internet generated business will continue to grow with off site marketing becoming an important service.
8. Rich media not rich graphics. The early, over designed, graphic heavy sites will never return. Updating text and pictures needs to be easy but will always be a poor form of communication. Sound, video and simulation will deliver messages better.
9. Web2.0 benefits for business sites. Smaller company websites will also benefit from better interaction with their customers.
10. Multiple site CMS solutions. Not installing a CMS for every site, instead a single app that creates all sites will make upgrades much easier e.g. blog, wiki, client side solutions.
11. Performance quality. CMS solutions will continue to change, driven by the need for the best SEO performance, speed, flexibility and bolt on services. 12. As CMS systems develop it's likely developers will have knowledge of several different types to suit each client's size, budget and technical abilities."
Programming

+ - An Introduction to Haskell

Submitted by
blackbearnh
blackbearnh writes "Over at O'Reilly's ONLamp site, a two part series is running that introduces the Haskell functional programming language. From the article:



Of course, it's not necessary to use a functional programming language to use these techniques. Because ideas from the functional programming world are appearing in mainstream languages, it is more important than ever to understand these techniques. Tom Christiansen said it best:

A programmer who hasn't been exposed to all four of the imperative, functional, objective, and logical programming styles has one or more conceptual blindspots. It's like knowing how to boil but not fry. Programming is not a skill one develops in five easy lessons.

Many programming languages offer a mixture of styles. Most object oriented languages have an imperative core, where classes, objects and methods provide a thin veneer over a language that is little more than a slightly improved version of C. Many functional programming languages mix functional, imperative, and object-oriented styles together in a manner that makes it difficult to tell them apart.

Haskell, on the other hand, is a purely functional language that restricts itself to the functional style of programming. Learning and using Haskell makes it easy to see the power and benefits of lambda calculus and functional programming.
"
Space

+ - Will Finding Mars Life Threaten the Space Program?

Submitted by
Daniel Markham
Daniel Markham writes "Everybody assumes that when life is finally found in outer space, say on Mars, that this will be a good thing for the Space Program. But looking at our history with funding battles for space exploration, there's a compelling case to be made that finding life on Mars would be the worst thing possible for manned space exploration. The case is made here, and includes some twists and turns you might not expect, such as LBJ's decision to slowly strip space funding to pay for Vietnam and domestic programs."
Biotech

+ - Watching Drug Resistance Develop in Vivo

Submitted by nursegirl
nursegirl (914509) writes "As the spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria like MRSA and the new XDR-TB (extremely drug resistant tuberculosis) becomes a growing concern throughout the world, a team of scientists has been able to learn how bacteria evolves in vivo as a response to vancomycin and other antibiotics.

The team isolated S. aureus bacteria intermittently through a patient's antibiotic therapy and sequenced the genome of the bacterium multiple times. The results demonstrated 35 mutations in 31 locations as the bacteria evolved from vancomycin-susceptible to vancomycin-resistant."
Slashdot.org

+ - What do you do when your 1st Amendment rights are

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "What do you do when your 1st Amendment Rights are violated? Is it always best to file a civil suit against the "corporation", or are there better ways to handle it? What about if a non-religious college violates your freedom of speech or expression?

Is voicing your complaints to a company or school considered protected free speech regardless if there is a policy prohibiting it?"
Programming

+ - Steve Gibson Discusses Software Patents

Submitted by MasterOfMagic
MasterOfMagic (151058) writes "On this week's episode of Security Now, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte discuss software patents, how they are different from trademarks and copyrights, and why they think that they are bad. The actual discussion about software patents starts 15:50 into the podcast. They also discuss IBM's patent portfolio, the RIM patent matter, and the Novel-Microsoft pact. As a bonus, they discuss Apple's Airport responding to request to closed ports instead of ignoring requests to them, and a follow up to the allegation that The Geek Squad used SpinRite without permission. While I know that software patents is a quite divisive issue on Slashdot, the discussion is a good introduction and refresher for people that are 'new around here'. IANAL, nor is Steve Gibson or Leo Laporte, but their discussion is a good starting point."

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