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Linux

+ - Next Linux kernel version to be 3.0->

Submitted by MasterPatricko
MasterPatricko (1414887) writes "After the discussion about kernel version numbering last week (also discussed here), it's official: the next kernel release will be version 3.0. There are actually no significant changes (Linus hasn't rewritten the kernel in Visual Basic), but it was decided now — almost 20 years since the first release — was as good as any time to change the numbering. In a change from the 2.6 series, the third number will only be used for -stable numbering (so the next release after this one will be 3.1, not 3.0.1). Now we wait to see who gets the honour of first breaking the Linux 3.0 tree! And everyone who wrote scripts specifically checking for the "2.6" string — time to get to work fixing that ..."
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GNU is Not Unix

+ - Linus Torvalds Looks To End Linux 2.6 Kernel->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the Linux 2.6 kernel set to begin its 40th development cycle and the Linux kernel nearing its 20th anniversary, Linus Torvalds has expressed interest today in moving away from the Linux 2.6.x kernel version. Instead he's looking to change things up by releasing the next kernel as Linux version 2.8 or 3.0. "The voices in my head also tell me that the numbers are getting too big. I may just call the thing 2.8.0...So I'm toying with 3.0 (and in that case, it really would be "3.0", not "3.0.0" — the stable team would get the third digit rather than the fourth one.""
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Comment: Re:Best explanation: SN 287 (Score 5, Informative) 490

by rantomaniac (#36176564) Attached to: Mint It Yourself With a Browser-Based Bitcoin Miner

impossible to "game" the system

The system has already been "gamed" by its very creator and a handful of early adopters. They mined most of the bitcoins currently in existence and then they made people believe in their value and became millionaires. (Satoshi is said to own between 1 and 2 million bitcoins, that's between $7M and $14M at current market prices.) Regardless of the usefulness of the idea itself, bitcoin was also designed to be a get rich quick scheme. You could conceive a similar digital currency, where wealth distribution was not so heavily biased towards early adopters.

Comment: Re:Good news? (Score 1) 286

by rantomaniac (#36153694) Attached to: Miguel De Icaza Forms New Mono Company: Xamarin

If developers writing competing software having prior knowledge of [parts of] the code of the original was not a problem, the concept of clean room reverse engineering wouldn't exist.
But since the Mono project used not to accept contributions from people that have seen Microsoft's shared source code, they are definitely aware of the danger and must be confident that a lawsuit from Attachmate isn't coming.

Education

+ - University Copyright Case About To Go To Trial->

Submitted by Nidi62
Nidi62 (1525137) writes "A Duke University blog covers the possible ramifications of the latest motion in the copyright case against Georgia State University. Cambrigde, Oxford, and Sage have proposed an injunction that would first enjoin GSU to include all faculty, employees, students. All copying would have to be monitored and limited to 10% of a work or 1000 words, whichever is less. No two classes would be allowed to use the same copied work unless they paid for it, essentially taking fair use out of the classroom. Along with this, courses would be allowed to be made up of only 10% copied material, the other 90% must be either purchased works or copies that have been paid for by permission fees. And, if this isn't enough, the publishers also want access to all computer systems on the campus network, to monitor compliance and copying.

This proposed order, in short, represents a nightmare, a true dystopia, for higher education....Yet you can be sure that if [these] things happen, all of our campuses would be pressured to adopt the “Georgia State model” in order to avoid litigation.

Disclosure: I am currently a graduate student at Georgia State University."
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Robotics

+ - Robots Invent Their Own Spoken Language->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that Australian researchers are teaching a pair of robots to communicate linguistically like humans by inventing new spoken words, a lexicon that the roboticists can teach to other robots to generate an entirely new language. The mobile robots, which the researchers call the Lingodroids, have a microphone and speakers for audible communication, and they use a camera, laser range finder, and sonar to explore the environment. If a robots finds itself in an unfamiliar area, it'll make up a word to describe it, choosing a random combination from a set of syllables. It then communicates that word to other robots that it meets, thereby defining the name of a place. From this fundamental base, the robots can play games with each other to reinforce the language. For example, one robot might tell the other robot “kuzo,” and then both robots will race to where they think “kuzo” is. Ultimately, techniques like this may help robots to communicate with each other more effectively, and may even enable novel ways for robots to talk to humans."
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Virtualization

+ - Are you using desktop virtualisation?

Submitted by Psiren
Psiren (6145) writes "I'm investigating our options for moving towards desktop virtualisation. We moved most of our servers onto VMWare several years ago, and frankly I don't know how I managed without it. Server virtualiation is pretty much the norm now, but it doesn't yet seem to have taken off in the same way on the desktop. I've started looking at VMWare View, Xen Desktop and also Sun Ray's. The Sun Ray demo I was given was very impressive. My question to you all is, are you using (or about to use) desktop virtualisation, and if so, what route did you take? More importantly, was it worth it?

To give an idea of scale, we'd be moving about 100 PC's over, all running Windows 7. The vast majority will be mostly basic office work, nothing too taxing. I like the idea of continuing to use VMWare as it ties in nicely with our server infrastructure, but I suspect the cost may be prohibitive on this small scale."
Hardware

+ - Lenovo Ships Thinnest ThinkPad Yet, Reviewed->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As the thinnest ThinkPad ever, the X1 is a sleek 13.4" notebook that follows up to the popular X300 series that many came to own and love a couple of years ago. The new ThinkPad X1 packs a ton of features and powerful hardware, but it's interesting to note that it lets go of a few key characteristics of the X300. Namely, Lenovo has transitioned to an internal non-removable battery and got rid of the optical drive. On the other hand, the X1 maintains a rugged design and internal roll cage, and for the first time Lenovo has added a chiclet-style keyboard that is both spill-resistant and backlit."
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+ - New Process Promises Cleaner Hydrogen Production->

Submitted by fergus07
fergus07 (1145927) writes "Hydrogen is one of the big candidates when it comes to replacing petroleum, but obtaining it from natural gas consumes a lot of energy and creates carbon dioxide. A new process called "sorption enhanced catalytic reforming of methane" promises a much more efficient alternative by producing high-purity hydrogen at lower temperatures compared to conventional "steam reforming" while at the same time preventing carbon from escaping into the environment."
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Japan

+ - Fukushima Meltdown: Earthquake not Tsunami-> 1

Submitted by formfeed
formfeed (703859) writes "As the data from the Fukushima reactor is being reviewed it looks like the meltdown happened much earlier: "the fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor were completely exposed to the air and rapidly heating five hours after the quake."

Apparently, the earthquake had caused a crack in the containment vessel. Which means, that even without the generators failing, the meltdown might still have happened.

With this new data, it seems a similar incident could happen in an earthquake zone even without a tsunami."

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Programming

+ - Maze62: a dense and speedy alphanumeric encoding f->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Base64 encoding can encode binary data into text in linear time, but it has to use at least two non-alphanumeric characters, which could be a problem sometimes. Base62 uses only alphanumerics, but it's square in cost and can't be used on a stream. Meet Maze62 — a linear-cost, stream-able, alphanumeric-only encoding for binary data."
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Security

+ - Second Stuxnet worm on the horizon->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "The rogue Stuxnet worm that infected an Iranian nuclear facility two years ago has provided a blueprint for cyber criminals and we can expect to see another one in the future. That’s the view of US-based Byres Security consultant Eric Byres who told delegates at AusCERT 2011 that it was highly likely that a new Stuxnet-style was coming soon."
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Government

+ - Can computers be used to optimise the US tax code?-> 1

Submitted by FatLittleMonkey
FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Science Fiction author, David Brin, wonders whether the US tax code, described by President Obama as a "10,000-page monstrosity", could be dramatically simplified. No, he's not trying to get support a libertarian wet-dream "Flat Tax", this is about using computers to... shuffle the existing system.

"I know a simple way the sheer bulk of the tax code could be trimmed by perhaps 70% or more, without much political pain or obstructionism! ... it should be easy to create a program that will take the tax code and experiment with zeroing-out dozens, hundreds of provisions while sliding others upward and then showing how these simplifications would affect, say, one-hundred representative types of taxpayers ... Let the program find the simplest version of a refined tax code that leaves all 100 taxpayer clades unhurt. If one group loses a favorite tax dodge, the system would seek a rebalancing of others to compensate. No mere human being could accomplish this, but I have been assured that a computer could do this in a snap."

With all the talk about Open Government, perhaps the computer code currently used in tax modelling could be released to the wider community, leading eventually to a Folding@Home type project."

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Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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