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Submission + - How often is science fiction right? (io9.com) 1

kaapstorm writes: Six scientists discuss sci-fi in which the fiction's prophetic hammer gets closest to the head of their particular scientific nail. Subjects range from weapons and AI through time travel to evo-psych.

Martian Meteorite Gets NASA Mars Rover's Attention 94

coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will take a small detour on its current journey to check out what could be a toaster-sized iron-based meteorite that crashed into the Red Planet. NASA scientists called the rock 'Oileán Ruaidh,' which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. The rock is about 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide from the angle at which it was first seen on September 16."

AMD One-Ups Intel With Cheap Desktop Chips 362

CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday announced inexpensive desktop microprocessors with up to six cores to put pricing pressure on rival Intel. AMD's new chips include the fastest AMD Phenom II X6 1075T six-core processor, which is priced 'under $250' for 1,000 units, AMD said. AMD also introduced a range of dual-core and quad-core Athlon II and Phenom II desktop microprocessors priced between $76 and $185. By comparison, Intel's cheapest six-core processor is the Core i7-970 processor, which is priced at $885 per 1,000 units, according to a price list on Intel's website."

Submission + - UK City Of Bristol Adopts Open Source (eweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: Bristol City Council in the UK is to decide on a major commitment to open source. The likely deal has been hampered by a contract tying the council's desktops to Microsoft, but it's still seen as important by the UK open source community. as it goes beyond the somenwat lukewarm promises of central government.

Submission + - Why the creator of Java quit oracle (eweek.com)

Uttini writes: When James Gosling led the team that created the Java language and platform, Sun Microsystems was riding high and Java stood as a landscape-changing revolutionary technology, but financial realities eventually brought Sun to its knees and Oracle entered in as a potential savior--saying all the right things, but behind the scenes, as far as Gosling was concerned, doing all the wrong ones.
Open Source

Submission + - KCLS Switches to Open-Source Library Catalog (kcls.org) 1

Lansdowne writes: King County Library System, the public-library system in Microsoft's backyard of King County, Washington, has begun replacing its proprietary online library catalog with the open-source Evergreen catalog. In the transition FAQ, the library says they had numerous change requests that the catalog vendor was only willing to make at up to $20,000 per request, so they decided to go with OSS to give themselves "beneficial control over the development, maintenance, reliability and adaptability of our most essential system and the associated costs." Evergreen has been covered on Slashdot before.

Submission + - 5 Trillion Digits of Pi - New World Record (numberworld.org)

KPexEA writes: Alexander J. Yee & Shigeru Kondo claim to have calculated the number pi to 5 trillion places, on a single desktop and in record time.
The main computation took 90 days on Shigeru Kondo's desktop. Verification was done using two separate computers.
The program that was used for the main computation is y-cruncher v0.5.4.9138 Alpha.


Submission + - The Scalability of Linus 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Katherine Noyes writes at LinuxInsider that it may be time for Linus Torvalds to share more of the responsibility for Linux that he's been shouldering. "If Linux wants to keep up with the competition there is much work to do, more than even a man of Linus's skill to accomplish," argues one user and the "scalability of Linus," is the subject of a post by Jonathan Corbet wondering if there might there be a Linus scalability crunch point coming. "The Linux kernel development process stands out in a number of ways; one of those is the fact that there is exactly one person who can commit code to the 'official' repository," Corbet writes. A problem with that scenario is the potential for repeats of what Corbet calls "the famous 'Linus burnout' episode of 1998" when everything stopped for a while until Linus rested a bit, came back, and started merging patches again. "If Linus is to retain his central position in Linux kernel development, the community as a whole needs to ensure that the process scales and does not overwhelm him," Corbet adds. But many don't agree. "Don't be fooled that Linus has to scale — he has to work hard, but he is the team captain and doorman. He has thousands doing most of the work for him. He just has to open the door at the appropriate moment," writes Robert Pogson adding that Linus "has had lots of practice and still has fire in his belly.""

Submission + - Google exec frustrated by Java, C++ complexity (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Today's commercial-grade programming languages — C++ and Java, in particular — are way too complex and not adequately suited for today's computing environments, Google distinguished engineer Rob Pike argued in a talk at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. Pike made his case against such "industrial programming languages" during his keynote at the conference in Portland, Oregon."

SFLC Wants To Avoid Death by Code 247

foregather writes "The Software Freedom Law Center has released some independent research on the safety of software close to our hearts: that inside of implantable medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps. It turns out that nobody is minding the store at the regulatory level and patients and doctors are blocked from examining the source code keeping them alive. From the article: 'The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for evaluating the risks of new devices and monitoring the safety and efficacy of those currently on market. However, the agency is unlikely to scrutinize the software operating on devices during any phase of the regulatory process unless a model that has already been surgically implanted repeatedly malfunctions or is recalled. ... Despite the crucial importance of these devices and the absence of comprehensive federal oversight, medical device software is considered the exclusive property of its manufacturers, meaning neither patients nor their doctors are permitted to access their IMD's source code or test its security.'"

Sony's Blue-Violet Laser the Future Blu-ray? 260

JoshuaInNippon writes "Japanese researchers from Sony and Tohoku University announced the development of a 'blue-violet ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser,' which Sony is aiming to use for optical disks. The new technology, with 'a laser wavelength of 405 nanometers in the blue-violet region' and a power out put 'more than a hundred times the world's highest output value for conventional blue-violet pulse semiconductor lasers,' is believed to be capable of holding more than 20 times the information of current Blu-ray technology, while retaining a practical size. Japanese news reports have speculated that one blue-violet disk could be capable of holding more than 50 high-quality movie titles, easily fitting entire seasons of popular TV shows like 24. When the technology may hit markets was not indicated."

WordPress Creator GPL Says WP Template Must Be GPL'd 571

An anonymous reader writes "Matt Mullenweg (the creator of open source blog software WordPress), after review by various legal experts, is sticking to his guns that themes and plugins that 'extend' WordPress violate the GPL if they are not themselves distributed under the GPL. Matt has gone so far as to post this on Twitter. According to Matt, the premium template called Thesis should be under the GPL and the owner is not happy about it. WordPress is willing to sue the maker of Thesis theme for not following GPL licensing. The webmasters and Thesis owners are also confused with new development. Mark Jaquith wrote an excellent technical analysis of why WordPress themes inherit the GPL. This is why even if Thesis hadn't copy-and-pasted large swathes of code from WordPress (and GPL plugins) its PHP would still need to be under the GPL."

GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality 709

suraj.sun writes "Seven Republican senators have announced a plan to curb the Obama administration's push to impose controversial Net neutrality regulations on the Internet." "The FCC's rush to take over the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers," says Sen. Jim DeMint, who I'm sure truly only has the consumer's needs at heart — since his campaign contributions list AT&T in his top five donating organizations.

Submission + - Using GIMP for real-world print jobs? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I made the switch to Linux several years ago and, for me, it's great. However, when it comes to creating printed materials for clients, I still outsource to a local artist who uses Photoshop or Illustrator. This has been fine but now I need to create some CMYK eps or pdf files that are suitable for real-world printing. The files will not be printed in house. Instead, they are sent out to some print company who will run the job and mail the finished product. Obviously I will get a physical proof before running a 10K piece order but I want to minimize changes later by using the tools correctly the first time around.

Searching the Net leads me to believe that doing anything in Scribus or GIMP for CMYK is going to be a challenge. Are there any professionals out there using only FOSS tools to create CMYK-ready eps/pdf files for offsite printing? If so, what advice can you offer to help me go about this the right way and minimize post-proof changes. My largest concerns are color shift, sharpness (high dpi?), and edge bleeds (is 1/8th inch enough?).

Thank you Slashdotters!

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?