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Microsoft

Bill Gates On the GPL — "We Disagree" 778

Posted by timothy
from the doesn't-that-mean-disagreeing-with-copyright dept.
Dionysius, God of Wine, writes with a link to an Ars Technica story, quoting Bill Gates: "'There's free software and then there's open source' he suggested, noting that Microsoft gives away its software in developing countries. With open source software, on the other hand, 'there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.' Open source, he said, creates a license 'so that nobody can ever improve the software,' he claimed, bemoaning the squandered opportunity for jobs and business. (Yes, Linux fans, we're aware of how distorted this definition is.) He went back to the analogy of pharmaceuticals: 'I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them,' he said, adding with a shrug: 'That may seem radical."
Portables

Negroponte Says Windows 'Runs Well' On XO Laptop 339

Posted by Soulskill
from the set-the-hook-and-reel-them-in dept.
Stony Stevenson alerts us to comments from OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte indicating his approval of Windows' performance on the XO laptop. Negroponte said in an email, "Sugar needs a wider basis, to run on more Linux platforms and to run under Windows." The full email is available at OLPC News. He was also quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Sugar "didn't have a software architect who did it in a crisp way," and cited the lack of Flash as an example. Negroponte continued, "There are several examples like that, that we have to address without worrying about the fundamentalism in some of the open-source community. One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist."
Math

Psychologists Don't Know Math 566

Posted by Zonk
from the one-plus-one-equals-your-mother dept.
stupefaction writes "The New York Times reports that an economist has exposed a mathematical fallacy at the heart of the experimental backing for the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance. The mistake is the same one that mathematicians both amateur and professional have made over the Monty Hall problem. From the article: "Like Monty Hall's choice of which door to open to reveal a goat, the monkey's choice of red over blue discloses information that changes the odds." The reporter John Tierney invites readers to comment on the goats-and-car paradox as well as on three other probabilistic brain-teasers."
KDE

A Screenshot Review of KDE 4 274

Posted by Zonk
from the who-doesn't-like-a-little-eye-candy dept.
billybob2 writes "PolishLinux.org has an extensive screenshot review and commentary on the development version of the Free and Open Source KDE desktop. Highlights include the ability to run any desktop applet prepared for Mac OS X inside Plasma, on-the-fly annotation and rating of files from within the Dolphin file manager. It also has an improved GUI for the Amarok music player, flexible 3D eye candy configuration in KWin, and improved support for both accessing digital cameras via the Solid hardware layer and the DigiKam photo manager."

Sperm Could Power Nanobots 259

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the make-sure-you-pick-the-best-swimmers dept.
Lucas123 writes "According to MSNBC, scientists are experimenting with using a sperm's flagellum to overcome the problem of supplying energy to nanobots that could be implanted in the body as smart probes that would release disease-fighting drugs, monitor enzymes and perform other medical roles within a patient's body. Powered by a compound called adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a sperm's flagellum can propel it at about 7 inches an hour. Energy from ATP could also power the pumps charged with dispensing the medication at a certain rate from the nanobots."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Computer Glitch Halts Seattle New Year's Fireworks 202

Posted by Zonk
from the probably-not-funny-for-seattle dept.
supersat writes "At the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve, Seattle's fireworks show ground to a halt. The source of the problem is reported to be a corrupted file that wasn't checked until the last minute. After two reboots, the fireworks had to be detonated manually. And yes ... one blog commenter, claiming to have worked on prior shows, said that the shows run on Windows."
Privacy

Privacy International Releases 2007 Report 179

Posted by timothy
from the state-with-a-big-essssss dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Privacy International has released their report on privacy for 2007, which includes a color-coded world map that highlights the countries with the best privacy laws, the privacy-hostile countries being in black. While many of the overall rankings may come as no surprise, it does highlight some of the more obscure abuses. For example, Venezuela requires your fingerprints just to get a phone and South Korea requires a government registration number linked to your identity before you can post on message boards. Makes you wonder who is Number One?"
Social Networks

Communities of Mutants Form as DNA Testing Grows 161

Posted by Zonk
from the okay-yeah-that's-kinda-strange dept.
GeneRegulator writes "The NY Times is running a story on communities that are forming around kids with rare genetic mutations. New technology that can scan chromosomes for small errors is being applied first to children with autism and other 'unexplained developmental delays.' It turns out that many of them have small deletions or duplications of DNA. Meanwhile, hundreds of little groups are forming around the banner of their children's shared mutations. As new research shows that many of us have small deletions and duplications of DNA that separate us from our parents, and that many of these "copy number variants" contribute to skills and senses, the families described in the story may presage the formation of all sorts of 'communities of the genetically rare' in the general population, not just amongst the developmentally delayed."
Media

BBC Backpedals On Linux Audience Figures 330

Posted by kdawson
from the couple-orders-of-magnitude-between-friends dept.
6031769 writes "After recently claiming that only 400 to 600 Linux users visit the BBC website, the BBC's Ashley Highfield has now admitted that they got their numbers wrong. The new estimate is between 36,600 and 97,600 according to his blog post. He stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out."
Biotech

Study Suggests Genome Instability Hotspots 72

Posted by Zonk
from the perfect-place-to-splice dept.
Dr. Eggman writes "Ars Technica reports on a new study that suggests not only that certain areas of the mouse genome undergo more changes, but that changes to those areas are more tolerable by the organism than changes in other areas. Recently published in Nature Genetics, the study examined the certain copy number variations of the C57Bl/6 strain in mice that have been diverging for less than 1,000 generations. The results were a surprising number of variations. While the study does not address it, Ars Technica goes on to recount suggestions that genomes evolved to the point where they work well with evolution."

The History of Slashdot Part 4 - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 277

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the at-the-end-of-the-tour dept.
Today, on the last day of our 10 year anniversary navel gazing spectacular, I present the final (thank god!) chapter in my 4 part history of Slashdot. I've written about the creation, the explosion, and the corporatization. Today I talk about where we are today, and what I see as our future, and how I feel about it. Clicky click the magic link below to read the last "thrilling" chapter, and celebrate with me the fact that I won't have to spend this much time writing about Slashdot for another decade.
Communications

Little Old Lady Hammers Comcast 416

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the after-my-own-heart dept.
WheezyJoe writes "The Washington Post reports that a little old lady took a hammer to Comcast. Apparently fed up with the lousy service she received from a botched Comcast installation of "triple-play", and a completely humiliating experience at a customer service center, 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces."
Security

+ - Internet Explorer Vulnerability Back From The Dead->

Submitted by Clown of The Month
Clown of The Month (666) writes "A vulnerability in Internet Explorer that was discovered almost 3 years ago by cyber_flash, is now demonstrated by security researcher Aviv Raff to automate an exploit of a new vulnerability in Adobe Reader. The old vulnerability allows an attacker to download and open an executable file in an application associated to a different extension. The new vulnerability allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code from remote when opening a manually downloaded PDF file. Combining both vulnerabilities, it is now possible to execute code from remote by clicking on a link in IE7, as shown in a video created by Raff."
Link to Original Source

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