leffeman writes "An influential Brussels think tank is urging the European Commission to ban the bundling of operating systems with desktop and laptop computers. The Globalisation Institute's submission to the Commission says that bundling 'is not in the public interest' and that the dominance of Windows has 'slowed technical improvements and prevented new alternatives entering from the marketplace.' It says the Microsoft tax is a burden on EU businesses: the price of operating systems would be lower in a competitive market. This is the first time a major free-market think tank has published in favour of taking action against Microsoft's monopoly power."
eldavojohn writes "The holy grail of fusion reactors has always seemed 'just a few years off' for many decades. But a recent design enhancement termed a 'Stellarator' may change all that. The point at which a fusion reactor crashes is when particles begin escaping due to disruptions in the plasma. A NYU team has discovered that coiling specific wires to form a magnetic field may contain the plasma. This may be a a viable way to create a plasma body with axial symmetry, and a far better chance of remaining stable. Like other forms of containment this does require energy itself, but could bring us closer to a stable fusion reactor. It may not be cold fusion or 'table top' fusion but it certainly is a step forward. The paper is up for peer review in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
"Nachrichtendienste" (news agencies!?)That's "intelligence agencies".
and "ausländische Staaten" (other countries, apparently any that ask)Most likely not any country that asks, but western countries who state that it's for the purposes of an ongoing investigation.
Conrad Mazian points us to an article in Forbes reporting that the SCO Group is trying to subpoena Pamela Jones of Groklaw. Except they can't find her. A few days ago PJ posted a note on Groklaw saying that she is taking some time away from the blog for health reasons; she didn't mention any SCO deposition. SCO's lawyers apparently believe that "Pamela Jones" does not exist and that Groklaw is penned by a team of IBM lawyers.
Several readers have let us know about a report on MSNBC that France's space agency has announced plans to publish its archive of UFO sightings in a month or so. The archive includes some 6,000 reports relating to around 1,600 incidents over 30 years. In a separate development, many readers have sent in word of the reported UFO that at least six United Airlines workers saw over Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last November. National Public Radio picked up the story with an interview with the Chicago Trib reporter who wrote about it yesterday. United is, strangely, denying that any such incident was ever brought up. The FAA admits there was an incident but is not investigating it.
Jason Pillai writes to tell us ZDNet is reporting that at last month's Microsoft Worldwide Parter Conference in Boston Ryan Gavin, director of platform strategy, claimed that one of the big downsides to open source is complexity. From the article: "Gavin noted that the flexibility of open-source software in meeting specific business needs also means systems integrators and ISVs have to grapple with complexity costs. 'It's challenging for partners to build competencies to support Linux, because you never quite know what you're going to be supporting,' he added. 'Customers who run Linux could be operating in Red Hat, [Novell's] Suse, or even customized Debian environments,' he explained. 'You don't get that repeatable [development] process to build your business over time.'" More than once I have had complaints that my setup is more difficult than necessary. Is open source really that much harder, or just different than what most are used to?
Lonesome Squash writes "The BBC are reporting that a new fuel tank is due to arrive on Wednesday that fixes the well-known problems with insulation loss. According to the article, administrators are hopeful that they will be able to "squeeze in three launches" this year. I guess they've lowered the bar enough that even the Shuttle program can slither over it. I can only be grateful that I'm not the poor chump who has to write their press releases."