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Oracle

RIP, SunSolve 100

Posted by timothy
from the to-the-moon-instead dept.
Kymermosst writes "Today marks the last day that SunSolve will be available. Oracle sent the final pre-deployment details today for the retirement of SunSolve and the transition to its replacement, My Oracle Support Release 5.2, which begins tomorrow. People who work with Sun's hardware and software have long used SunSolve as a central location for specifications, patches, and documentation."
Space

Pope's Astronomer Would Love To Baptize an Alien 308

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-do-you-keep-the-head-on-this-thing? dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Guardian reports that Guy Consolmagno, curator of the pope's meteorite collection and a trained astronomer and planetary scientist, says he would be 'delighted' if intelligent life was found among the stars. 'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it — when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.' Consolmagno adds that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. 'Any entity — no matter how many tentacles it has — has a soul.' Would he baptize an alien? 'Only if they asked.' Consolmagno dismisses the ideas of intelligent design as a pseudo-scientific version of creationism. 'The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all. It's another form of the God of the gaps. It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.'"
Music

Bach Launches Updated MP3 Format 279

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-than-just-hinderance-a-novel-idea dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Bach Technology has rolled out an updated MP3 file format in a bid to combat music piracy. Dubbed "MusicDNA," the new format offers embedded "updatable premium content" like lyrics, videos, news updates, and album artwork. "Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static. ... No major labels have signed up to use MusicDNA so far, but British record company Beggars Group and US label Tommy Boy are both on board. However, the files are likely to be more expensive than MP3 files – according to the BBC – and will have to compete with Apple's iTunes LP, which already provides additional content such as bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews."
Microsoft

Microsoft Patents DRM'd Torrents 193

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'll-patent-torrenting-torrents dept.
Anonymous Crobar writes "Microsoft has received a patent for a 'digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system,' or using a P2P network to distribute commercial media content. The patent, #7,639,805, covers a method of individually encrypting each packet with a separate key and allowing users to decrypt differing levels of quality depending on the license that has been purchased."
Space

Astronomers Discover 33 Pairs of Waltzing Black Holes 101

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the teach-them-to-foxtrot dept.
Astronomers from UC Berkeley have identified 33 pairs of waltzing black holes, closing the gap somewhat between the observed population of super-massive black hole pairs and what had been predicted by theory. "Astronomical observations have shown that 1) nearly every galaxy has a central super-massive black hole (with a mass of a million to a billion times the mass of the Sun), and 2) galaxies commonly collide and merge to form new, more massive galaxies. As a consequence of these two observations, a merger between two galaxies should bring two super-massive black holes to the new, more massive galaxy formed from the merger. The two black holes gradually in-spiral toward the center of this galaxy, engaging in a gravitational tug-of-war with the surrounding stars. The result is a black hole dance, choreographed by Newton himself. Such a dance is expected to occur in our own Milky Way Galaxy in about 3 billion years, when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy."
Television

MPAA Asks Again For Control Of TV Analog Ports 466

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-barking-up-that-tree dept.
suraj.sun passes along this excerpt from the Consumerist: "The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don't want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That's why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets. This capability is called selectable output control or SOC, and the FCC banned it back in 2003. SOC would allow 'service operators, such as cable companies, to turn off analog outputs on consumer electronics devices, only allowing digital plugs' such as HDMI. The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers."
Books

Lulu Introduces DRM 222

Posted by timothy
from the damn-ridiculous-meddling dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Print-on-demand publisher Lulu recently announced that they're offering 'eBooks.' Since they've always offered downloadable books as PDFs, that takes some decoding to figure out what part is new: it turns out that it means now they're handling more formats, they've significantly increased the share they take out of the purchase price ... and for an additional fee, they now offer DRM. I have a few items published through Lulu myself; nothing forces me to buy the DRM, but I'm considering taking my business elsewhere on principle. This isn't what I expected from the people who, when I first signed up with them, were solidly endorsing Creative Commons."
Books

Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words 323

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-was-a-good-time-it-was-a-bad-time dept.
theodp writes "To exist or not to exist: that is the query. That's what the famous Hamlet soliloquy might look like if subjected to Amazon's newly-patented System and Method for Marking Content, which calls for 'programmatically substituting synonyms into distributed text content,' including 'books, short stories, product reviews, book or movie reviews, news articles, editorial articles, technical papers, scholastic papers, and so on' in an effort to uniquely identify customers who redistribute material. In its description of the 'invention,' Amazon also touts the use of 'alternative misspellings for selected words' as a way to provide 'evidence of copyright infringement in a legal action.' After all, anti-piracy measures should trump kids' ability to spell correctly, shouldn't they?"
Hardware

Tilera To Release 100-Core Processor 191

Posted by timothy
from the and-then-they-stopped-counting dept.
angry tapir writes "Tilera has announced new general-purpose CPUs, including a 100-core chip. The two-year-old startup's Tile-GX series of chips are targeted at servers and appliances that execute Web-related functions such as indexing, Web search and video search. The Gx100 100-core chip will draw close to 55 watts of power at maximum performance."
Media

Disney Close To Unveiling New "DVD Killer" 498

Posted by timothy
from the plays-for-sure dept.
Uncle Rummy writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is close to releasing a new system that will sell permanent, multi-device access to digital media. The system, dubbed Keychest, is being positioned as an answer to consumer concerns about purchasing digital media that are locked to a small number of devices, and thus as a way to finally shift media sales from an ownership model to an access model. They claim that such a service would reduce the risk of losing access to content as a result of a single vendor going out of business, as purchased content would remain available from other vendors. However, they do not seem to have addressed the question of what happens to customers' access to purchased content if the Keychest service itself is discontinued."
Software

Microsoft Readies Ad-Supported Office Starter 2010 235

Posted by timothy
from the low-intensity-conflict dept.
Martin writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Microsoft Office Starter 2010 will be not available for purchase; it will only come pre-loaded on new PCs. It includes basic functionality so users can view, edit, and create documents via Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010. Not only are these programs ad-supported, but Microsoft claims they are 'designed for casual Office users,' who apparently will be perfectly fine with reduced-functionality and ad-supported software."
Government

Ministry of Defense's "How To Stop Leaks" Document Is Leaked 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-no-fighting-in-the-war-room dept.
samzenpus writes "A restricted 2,400 page-document put out by the MoD designed to help intelligence personnel with information security has been leaked onto the internet. Wikileaks notes that Joint Services Protocol 440 (JSP 440), was published in 2001 and lays out protocols to defend against hackers, journalists, and foreign spies. it says, 'Leaks usually take the form of reports in the public media which appear to involve the unauthorized disclosure of official information (whether protectively marked or not) that causes political harm or embarrassment to either the UK Government or the Department concerned... The threat [of leakage] is less likely to arise from positive acts of counter-espionage, than from leakage of information through disaffected members of staff, or as a result of the attentions of an investigative journalist, or simply by accident or carelessness.' " Looks like it's time to write JSP 441.
Google

Is Cloud Computing the Hotel California of Tech? 250

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-you-can-never-leave dept.
Prolific blogger and open source enthusiast Matt Asay ponders whether cloud computing may be the Hotel California of tech. It seems that data repositories in the form of Googles and Facebooks are very easy to dump data into, but can be quite difficult to move data between. "I say this because even for companies, like Google, that articulate open-data policies, the cloud is still largely a one-way road into Web services, with closed data networks making it difficult to impossible to move data into competing services. Ever tried getting your Facebook data into, say, MySpace? Good luck with that. Social networks aren't very social with one other, as recently noted on the Atonomo.us mailing list. For the freedom-inclined among us, this is cause for concern. For the capitalists, it's just like Software 1.0 all over again, with fat profits waiting to be had. The great irony, of course, is that it's all built with open source."
Graphics

Patch Re-Enables PhysX When ATI Card Is Present 130

Posted by kdawson
from the until-they-break-it-again dept.
An anonymous reader points us to a forum posting with the inevitable followup to NVIDIA's crippling of PhysX for users of any other display adapter. "Windows 7 allows two display drivers to be used at once — like in Windows XP. Therefore, it is possible to use an NVIDIA card for PhysX and ATI card for graphics rendering. Sadly, since the release of 186 graphics drivers, NVIDIA has decided to block this feature anytime a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present in the system. In addition, for some incomprehensible reasons, the latest version of PhysX System Software also prevents PPU cards from working if a Non-NVIDIA GPU is present. ... A forum member by the name of GenL has released an experimental beta patch [that] intercepts disable-PhysX-if-Radeon-is-present-code. So far, according to user comments the patch delivers successful results." The forum post has a link to the patch for Windows 7.

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