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Announcements

+ - Commodore approaches Banksy to design PC skin->

Submitted by
arcticstoat
arcticstoat writes "Banksy, the acclaimed British guerrilla graffitti artist famous for defacing 500 Paris Hilton CDs and his eye-catching street art, has been approached by Commodore to design a PC skin for a one-off charity auction. 'We've been in touch with his agent,' Commodore spokesman Jools Moore told Custom PC, 'and asked the question "would you like to do something for us?" we're talking more about a one-off skin to be honest, because I don't think he'd agree to license his art for profit."
Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

+ - Dells: choose wisely and save 25% with Ubuntu

Submitted by
1336
1336 writes "Yesterday's article erroneously reported that the Ubuntu systems Dell would be selling at "little or no price differential" (note in the comments to the referenced article that the savings for using Ubuntu on equivalent hardware was $50-$100 US off the base system). I just discovered however that for the Dimension E520 vs E520N, if you select "No Monitor" in the options, the price difference jumps from $80 to $140. For such inexpensive systems, that represents just over a 25% savings by selecting Ubuntu instead of Windows ($549 vs $409). At that kind of discount, would you consider Ubuntu for yourself or others (e.g. relatives) even if you hadn't before? Can Microsoft effectively compete in the low-end market?"
Software

+ - Testing AJAX applications

Submitted by
matthew.thompson
matthew.thompson writes "At work we've recently taken delivery of a web application that we host for a partner company. We were informed that the application would use a little more bandwidth but in going live it's gone from creating 4Mbps to 20Mbps of traffic. While we're a little late in discovering this can anyone suggest any load testing tools which make it easy to test AJAX applications with results that management can understand but enough detail for developers to be able to tweak the app?"
Microsoft

+ - Vista problems reaching mainstream press

Submitted by
mcgrew (sm62704)
mcgrew (sm62704) writes "The tech press has been talking about Vista's shortcomings for quite a while now; Slashdot has posted numerous stories. Today I saw a "Tech Talk" in the St Louis Post Dispatch, one of the US' largest mainstream newspapers. The article is about a "normal" (i.e., non-geek) user's woes. From the article:

After his initial computer purchase from a local retailer, he tried starting Vista and had no luck: It gagged on other preinstalled software, and the retailer had no remedy. He received a replacement laptop.

On our colleague's second try, he ran into a wall with Microsoft, which insisted through its online validation process that his copy of Vista was not legitimate. About a third of all new Vista owners with valid copies of the OS already have suffered through this. The retailer assured our colleague that his Vista was valid but replaced his laptop again anyway to solve the problem.

Armed with yet another new laptop, our colleague escaped repeats of the first two problems but hit a new bump: Vista refused to acknowledge his computer's peripheral devices, even though Microsoft's own hardware compatibility list said it should.

He returned to the retailer and this time asked for his money back. He says he might try buying his first Mac with the refund. "There's only so much I'm willing to put up with," our colleague said. "I just wanted the [expletive] computer to work, you know. Isn't that all anyone wants?"
I notice that he returned the second computer because of MS' onerous DRM, which insisted that the OS was counterfeit. I'm aghast that one in three valid copies are flagged as "pirated". Note: I'm not a Mac user; my OS of choice is Mandriva."
Slashdot.org

+ - Slashdot's Firehose: Misplaced democracy?

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "The Slashdot Firehose is a 'bad metaphor and a bad idea,' or so says Computerworld's Joyce Carpenter, who has been using the user-directed submission rating system since it was introduced a few months ago. She points to an increase in unworthy submissions — some of which seem to be part of 'viral marketing scams' — and says that they make Firehose unpleasant for everyone:

The increased number of unworthy submissions makes more unpleasant work for the editors as well as members of the community. A bigger hose with more crap in it just means that the editors have to read all that crap — and so do the voting members of the community. That's just more work for everyone.
She also questions whether Zonk and Co. are even using the recommendations that make it to the top of the Firehose ratings:

So far as I can tell, the editors still make the decisions. Good for them. I have no need for democracy in the selection of stories at a site that has done an excellent, if elitist, job of using editorial judgment. That's what makes it such a good site. Drain the hydrant and throw away with the hose.
"
Data Storage

+ - EMC's CEO blames social networking for data deluge

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "In a keynote speech used to unveil a new $1 million disk array, EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci said data centers are being flooded by not only traditional business data but a slew content from digital cameras, phones and personal devices. Tucci also pointed to online social networking communities such as Facebook, Youtube, MySpace, Flickr, and LinkedIn as part of the problem. 'Tucci said, disk-based recovery will continue to trump tape-based recovery operations in terms of cost, functionality and speed. "I'll bet you anything you want that going forward more and more, virtually all [data] recovery will come off of disk and not on tape," Tucci said.'"
Announcements

+ - Cutty Sark ablaze

Submitted by
The Mysterious X
The Mysterious X writes "The BBC is reporting that Cutty Sark, the 19th centuary clipper, is on fire. Greenwich town centre has been closed, as has the docklands light railway, and reports indicate there are 40 firefighters on scene fighting the blaze. The latest news is that 100% of the ship is on fire, and it is feared that gas bottles onboard, left there due to renovation works may explode. Firefighters are treating the blaze as suspicious."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Laser Pioneer Dies

Submitted by
SuperGrads
SuperGrads writes "Theodore Maiman, builder of the first working laser has died, aged 79 years. Maiman's laser used a fingertip-sized lump of ruby illuminated by a flash lamp to generate coherent light pluses on 16 May, 1960. Maiman missed out on a Nobel prize but was awarded the Wolf prize in 1984 and added to the US National Inventors Hall of Fame."

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