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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Shoots Own Foot in Iceland-> 1

Submitted by
David Gerard
David Gerard writes "The Microsoft Certified Partner model is: an MCP buys contracts from Microsoft and sells them to businesses as a three-year timed contract, payable in annual instalments. Iceland's economy has collapsed, so 1500 businesses have gone bankrupt so aren't paying the fees any more. But Microsoft has told the MCPs: "Our deal was with you, not them. Pay up." The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software. Taking most of the country with them. (Warning: link contains salty language and vivid imagery.)"
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - First Programming Language for Kids? 1

Submitted by
Markus
Markus writes "When I was nine or ten years old, I taught myself BASIC V1.2 — nothing else available — on my (way older) brother's Laser 210 from a book. Now, my son has started school last summer and can now sufficiently read and write to start programming. As in coding, that is, not as in script kiddies.

With the information age on the rise, conscious use of IT becomes a vital skill for following generations — and when I see how teachers over here use computers, I do certainly not want to trust schools with this. So as the days of 10 CLS:? "HELLO WORLD!" are over, what would be a good programming language for a six year old to start with? What concepts are most important to teach first to a kid? Is there something like "Eclipse Kids Edition"? And as our daughter is also due for school in two years — does it also come in pink? :o)

In addition, we want the kids to learn the social aspects of coding, so "free and open source" is a must."
Microsoft

Microsoft Hyper-V Leaves Linux Out In The Cold 212

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the some-things-never-change dept.
whitehartstag writes to mention that Microsoft has announced their new Hyper-V as feature-complete. Unfortunately the list of supported systems is disappointingly short. "No offense to SUSE Enterprise Server crowd, but only providing SUSE support in Hyper-V is a huge mistake. By not supporting Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, and BSD, Microsoft is telling us Hyper-V is a Microsoft only technology. More Mt. Redmond, Microsoft center of the universe thinking. That's disappointing. Sure, if you are a Microsoft only shop, Hyper-V will be an option for virtualization. But so will VMware and XenServer. But if you run a mixed shop, Hyper-V won't solve your problems alone — you'll have to also add VMware or Xen to your virtualized data center portfolio. Or just go with VMware and Xen and forego Hyper-V."
Space

Astronomers Discover New Class of Pulsating Star 35

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the shiny-new-toys dept.
KentuckyFC writes "It doesn't happen very often but astronomers have discovered a new class of pulsating white dwarf. The work began last year when the Sloan Digital Sky Survey found a few exotic white dwarf stars with carbon atmospheres. A mathematical model of these stars showed that in some circumstances the dwarfs could pulsate as the carbon was cycled through the atmosphere by convection. Now a few days observation of one of these stars has shown that it does actually pulsate as predicted."
Patents

Sony Blu-ray Under Patent Infringement Probe 160

Posted by kdawson
from the not-your-usual-patent-troll dept.
Lucas123 writes "The US International Trade Commission said it will launch an investigation into possible patent infringements involving Sony's Blu-ray players and other technologies using laser and light-emitting diodes, such as Motorola's Razr phone and Hitachi camcorders. The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed in February by a Columbia University professor emerita who says she invented a method of using gallium nitride-based semiconductor material for producing wide band-gap semiconductors for LEDs and laser diodes in the blue/ultraviolet end of the light spectrum. Her complaint asks the ITC to block imports of LED and laser diode technology from Asia and Europe. The total market for all types of gallium nitride devices has been forecast at $7.2 billion for 2009 alone."
Math

Road Coloring Problem Solved 202

Posted by kdawson
from the hard-but-not-complicated dept.
ArieKremen writes "Israeli Avraham Trakhtman, a Russian immigrant mathematician who had been employed as a night watchman, has solved the Road Coloring problem. First posed in 1970 by Benjamin Weiss and Roy Adler, the problem posits that given a finite number of roads, one should be able to draw a map, coded in various colors, that leads to a certain destination regardless of the point of origin. The 63-year-old Trakhtman jotted down the solution in pencil in 8 pages. The problem has real-world implementation in message and traffic routing."
Media

Blu-ray BD+ Cracked 521

Posted by kdawson
from the bigger-they-come dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In July 2007, Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group (BD+ Standards Board) declared: 'BD+, unlike AACS which suffered a partial hack last year, won't likely be breached for 10 years.' Only eight months have passed since that bold statement, and Slysoft has done it again. According to the press release, the latest version of their flagship product AnyDVD HD can automatically remove BD+ protection and allows you to back-up any Blu-ray title on the market."
Power

Buckyballs Can Store Concentrated Hydrogen 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the brought-to-you-by-the-letter-H dept.
Pickens brings news that researchers from Rice University have discovered that it's possible to store hydrogen inside buckyballs. Hydrogen can be an excellent power source, but it is notoriously difficult to store. The buckyballs can contain up to 8% of their weight in hydrogen, and they are strong enough to hold it at a density that rivals the center of Jupiter. "Using a computer model, Yakobson's research team has tracked the strength of each atomic bond in a buckyball and simulated what happened to the bonds as more hydrogen atoms were packed inside. Yakobson said the model promises to be particularly useful because it is scalable, that is it can calculate exactly how much hydrogen a buckyball of any given size can hold, and it can also tell scientists how overstuffed buckyballs burst open and release their cargo."

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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