Also: But what would compel a company to support FreeBSD when their competitors could just take the code, use it for their own needs, and never make upstream contributions?But what would compel a company to support FreeBSD when they could just take the code, use it for their own needs, and never make upstream contributions?
you-bet-it's-not-out-of-context writes "A blogger on KDE Developer's Journal has found an interesting post by Miguel de Icaza, the founder of GNOME and Mono, in a Google group dedicated to the discussion of his blog entries. Six days ago Miguel stated that 'OOXML is a superb standard and yet, it has been FUDed so badly by its competitors that serious people believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with it.' In the same post he says that to avoid patent problems over Silverlight, when using or developing Mono's implementation (known as Moonlight), i's best to 'get/download Moonlight from Novell which will include patent coverage.'"
BigRedFed writes "Michael Robertson, of mp3.com fame, Linspire.com fame (or infamy depending on your view point) and more recently, ajax13.com has released another interesting piece of web software. ajaxWindows they are calling it and it's an almost full fledged web based OS that you can use to transport around your documents and mp3 collection to any device with an internet connection and a full web-browser."
narramissic writes "ITworld reports that the House of Representatives has passed a bill that promises to overhaul the US patent system. 'The Patent Reform Act, supported by several large tech vendors including Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp., would allow courts to change they way they assess damages in patent infringement cases. Currently, courts generally consider the value of the entire product when a small piece of the product infringes a patent; the bill would allow, but not require, courts to base damages only on the value of the infringing piece."
Ariastis writes "Jack Thompson has filed documents with a federal court in Florida requesting to subpoena President George W. Bush for a deposition to retain Thompson's license to practice law. Ah, and Jeb Bush too, for good measure."
Martin Ecker writes "The OpenGL SuperBible, in its vastly expanded fourth edition, is the latest addition to the Addison-Wesley Professional OpenGL series. According to the authors it 'strives to provide the world's best introduction to not only OpenGL, but 3D graphics programming in general.' A tough goal to achieve." Read the rest of Martin's review to see if the book keeps its promise.
webdoodle writes "An astronomer at Columbia University thinks he has solved a 400-year-old mystery: the origin of strange optical flashes seen on the moon's surface. These spots, called 'Transient Lunar Phenomenon' (TLP) by the astronomy community, have confused moon-gazers since the time of ancient scientists. Arlin Crotts now thinks that TLPs are something called 'outgassing', a process where trapped gasses escape to the lunar atmosphere. 'To arrive at his theory, Crotts correlated TLPs with known gas outbursts from the lunar surface as seen by several spacecraft, particularly NASA's Apollo 15 mission in 1971 and the robotic Lunar Prospector in 1998. What he discovered was a remarkable similarity in the pattern of outgassing event locations recorded by spacecraft across the face of the moon and reported TLP sites.'"
Otter writes "Woo Suk Hwang's career swung from fame over his lab's claim of the first stem cells from a cloned human embryo to humiliation when the results were found to be fake. Research at Harvard on Hwang's cells has found that they are actually parthenogenic lines derived from eggs -- perhaps a more important and difficult achievement than what he had been claiming! 'Researchers said that the distinct "genetic fingerprint" of the stem cells means they may be the first in the world to be extracted from embryos produced by the so-called "virgin birth" method, or parthenogenesis. This happens when eggs are stimulated into becoming embryos without ever being fertilised by sperm, and has been achieved in animals. However, before Hwang, no one had managed to produce a human embryo using parthenogenesis which lived long enough to allow the extraction of viable stem cells.'"
athloi writes with a link to an editorial by John Dvorak over at the PC Magazine site. Rather than his usual tilting at windmills, Dvorak turns his attention to possibility of another big internet economy 'pop': "Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results — a bust. It's déjà vu all over again. Each succeeding bubble has been worse than its predecessor. Thus nobody is actually able to spot the cycle, since it just looks like a continuum. I can assure you that after this next collapse, nobody will think of the dot-com bubble as anything other than a prelude." It certainly seems like another burst is imminent; will this one be worse than the original, or have less of an impact?
Kevin Spiritus lets us know that XiTi Monitor, a French Web survey institute, has published its browser barometer for July, and Internet Explorer continues to lose ground. "The ascension of Firefox continues... Nearly 28% average use rate in Europe in the beginning of July 2007, with a progression in the totality of the 32 European countries studied. Firefox doesn't loose ground in any of the countries."
godzillopiteco sends timely word that Art. Lebedev Studio is finally going to accept pre-orders for the Optimus Maximus Keyboard — in just under 11 hours at the time this story posts, according to the countdown timer on the site. (Late last year we were primed to pre-order in December 2006.) Read the project's blog for some recent developments.
Tuoqui writes "With all the focus on the infamous hexadecimal number, people may be ignoring a bigger weakness in the AACS armor, which emerged two weeks ago. Some hackers have figured out how to crack AACS in a way that cannot be defeated, even by revoking all the keys in circulation."
An anonymous reader writes "The Google Librarian Central site has up a piece by Mark Aubin, a Software Engineer who works on Google Earth. Aubin explains some of the process behind capturing satellite imagery for use with the product. 'Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery. We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth's surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes - even kites. The traditional aerial survey involves mounting a special gyroscopic, stabilized camera in the belly of an airplane and flying it at an elevation of between 15,000 feet and 30,000 feet, depending on the resolution of imagery you're interested in. As the plane takes a predefined route over the desired area, it forms a series of parallel lines with about 40 percent overlap between lines and 60 percent overlap in the direction of flight. This overlap of images is what provides us with enough detail to remove distortions caused by the varying shape of the Earth's surface.'