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Apple

Psystar Activation Servers Down? 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-bears dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I purchased Rebel EFI in support of Psystar's crusade back in October. Just 3 short months later, I have no support. I found this out when I upgraded my hard drive and installed Snow Leopard using Rebel EFI. The program can no longer 'phone home' to activate or download/install drivers. This is a direct contradiction to Psystar's promise posted on their website: 'Psystar will continue to support all of its existing customers of hardware and software through this transitional period. Warranties on hardware will continue to be honored as long the customer has a valid warranty. Rebel EFI support for existing customers, as always, will remain exclusively available through email and the built-in ticket interface.' Has anyone else run into this issue? It has been 9 days with no response from Psystar by e-mail or phone."
Sun Microsystems

Oracle Buys Sun 906

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
bruunb writes "Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."
Sun Microsystems

What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems? 237

Posted by timothy
from the ask-the-oracle dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister believes Oracle is next in line to make a play for Sun now that IBM has withdrawn its offer. Dismissing server market arguments in favor of Cisco or Dell as suitors, McAllister suggests that MySQL, ZFS, DTrace, and Java make Sun an even better asset to Oracle than to IBM. MySQL as a complement to Oracle's existing database business would make sense, given Oracle's 2005 purchase of Innobase, and with 'the long history of Oracle databases on Solaris servers, it might actually see owning Solaris as an asset,' McAllister writes. But the 'crown jewel' of the deal would be Java. 'It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle. Java has become the backbone of Oracle's middleware strategy,' McAllister contends."
Microsoft

Microsoft Ordered To Pay $388 Million In Patent Case 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
jeffmeden writes "BusinessWeek reports today that Microsoft suffered a loss in federal court Monday. The judge rendering the verdict ordered Microsoft to pay $388 Million in damages for violating a patent held by Uniloc, a California maker of software that prevents people from illegally installing software on multiple computers. Uniloc claims Microsoft's Windows XP and some Office programs infringe on a related patent they hold. It's hard to take sides on this one, but one thing is certain: should the verdict hold up, it will be heavily ironic if the extra copies of XP and Office sold due to crafty copy protection end up not being worth $388 million."
Government

German Court Bans E-Voting As Currently Employed 82

Posted by timothy
from the grandfathered-in dept.
Kleiba writes "The highest German Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, Federal Constitutional Court) ruled that electronic voting machines like Nedap ESD1 and ESD2 are not permissible in Germany. Der Spiegel, a well-known German newspaper, is featuring article on today's decision (in German; Babelfish translation here) which was the result of a lawsuit by physicist Ulrich Wiesner and his father Joachim Wiesner, a professor emeritus of political science. The main argument against the voting machines in the eyes of the Court is that they conflict with the principle of transparency. 2009 is a major election year for Germany, with parliamentary elections in the fall." Reader Dr. Hok writes "Voting machines are not illegal per se, but with these machines it wasn't possible to verify the results after the votes were cast. The verification procedure by the German authorities was flawed, too: only specimens were tested, not the machines actually used in the elections, and the detailed results (including the source code) were not made public. The results of the election remain legally valid, though."
Image

Science Unlocks The Mystery Of Belly Button Lint 161 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the extreme-navel-gazing dept.
After three years of research, including examining 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button, Georg Steinhauser has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel. Dr Steinhauser's observations showed that "small pieces of fluff first form in the hair and then end up in the navel at the end of the day." Chemical analysis revealed the pieces of fluff were not just made up of cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the lint were also flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat and dust. Unfortunately, further study has failed to yield a hair or fiber that would give Dr. Steinhauser the last three years of his life back.
Games

EVE Devs Dissect, Explain Massive Economic Exploit 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-how-you-deal-with-such-events dept.
In December we discussed news that a major exploit in EVE Online had just been widely discovered after being abused by a few players for up to four years, creating thousands of real-life dollars worth of unearned in-game currency. Representatives from CCP Games assured players that the matter would be investigated and dealt with; a familiar line in such situations for other multiplayer games, and often the final official word on the matter. Yesterday, CCP completed their investigation and posted an incredibly detailed account of how the exploit worked, what they did to fix it, how it affected the game's economy, and what happened to the players who abused it. Their report ranges from descriptions of the involved algorithms to graphs of the related economic markets to theatrically swooping through the game universe nuking the malfunctioning structures. It's quite comprehensible to non-EVE-players, and Massively has summarized the report nicely. It's an excellent example of transparency and openness in dealing with a situation most companies would be anxious to sweep under the rug.
Privacy

UK Government To Outsource Data Snooping and Storage 114

Posted by timothy
from the avoid-conflict-of-interest dept.
bone_idol writes "The Guardian is reporting that the private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary. Also covered on the BBC."
Programming

Rails and Merb Ruby Web Frameworks Merge 80

Posted by kdawson
from the flattened-red-gem dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Merb and Rails Core Teams today announced a major merger; the two projects will become one, and be released some time in Q2 of 2009 as Rails 3. This is great news for lots of folks who worried about the potential community fracture, as well as great news for all the developers who will now have an all-around better option for programming Ruby. Read more about the details in Yehuda's blog post, or at the Ruby on Rails blog."
Space

Simulations May Explain Loss of Beagle 2 Mars Probe 98

Posted by timothy
from the gremlins-are-everywhere dept.
chrb writes "Researchers at Queensland University have used computer simulations to calculate that the loss of the US$80 million British Beagle 2 Mars probe was due to a bad choice of spin rate during atmospheric entry, resulting in the craft burning up within seconds. The chosen spin rate was calculated by using a bridging function to estimate the transitional forces between the upper and lower atmosphere, while the new research relies on simulation models. Beagle 2 team leader Professor Colin Pillinger has responded saying that the figures are far from conclusive, while another chief Beagle engineer has said 'We still think we got it right.'"
Movies

Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76 356

Posted by timothy
from the her-voice-prints-will-live-on dept.
unassimilatible writes "If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it's today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn't used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Fortunately, Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams' latest Trek movie. I have to admit, this made me sad, just having caught up on the entire TNG and DS9 series on DVD."

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