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Submission + - Microsoft's appologises for epic fail presentation in Oslo (

kaptink writes: Microsoft has gone on the defensive this week after a clip from their latest developers conference started making the rounds featuring classy lyrics such as "The words MICRO and SOFT don't apply to my penis". The audience of programmers were not amused, and naturally turned to Twitter to get their hate on.

"For those not here, we had flashing disco lights, bad lyrics about penis, disco beats and dancing azure girls, so cringeworthy," one programmer tweeted.

"Wow #microsoft this music thing is probably the most embarrassing I've ever seen and heard," tweeted another.

See it all here —


Is Playing a DVD Harder Than Rocket Science? Screenshot-sm 464

dacut writes "After successfully repairing the Hubble Space Telescope, astronauts aboard the shuttle Atlantis found themselves with a free day due to thunderstorms which delayed their return. They attempted to pass the time by watching movies, only to find that their laptops did not have the proper software, and Houston was unable to help. No word, alas, on what software was involved, though we can assume that software/codec updates are a tad difficult when you're orbiting the planet at 17,200MPH."

Scientists Turn Tequila Into Diamonds 249

MaxwellEdison writes "Researchers, oddly enough from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, have found a way to make diamond films using tequila. They were originally testing methods of creating the films with organic solutions like acetone when it was noticed the ideal ratios of water and ethanol turned out to be about 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. '"To dissipate any doubts, one morning on the way to the lab I bought a pocket-size bottle of cheap white tequila and we did some tests," Apátiga said. "We were in doubt over whether the great amount of chemicals present in tequila, other than water and ethanol, would contaminate or obstruct the process, it turned out to be not so. The results were amazing, same as with the ethanol and water compound, we obtained almost spherical shaped diamonds of nanometric size. There is no doubt; tequila has the exact proportion of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms necessary to form diamonds."'"

How To Cut In Line and Not Get Caught Screenshot-sm 256

ewenc writes "A psychology study of hundreds of people waiting for front-row access to U2 concerts points to the best ways to cut in line and not get caught. 'Super-fans' are most irked by queue-jumpers. People were equally peeved whether someone cut in front or behind, and cutters who jumped beside a friend were less likely to attract scorn."

Old Malware Tricks Still Defeat Most AV Scanners 122

SkiifGeek writes "A year ago Didier Stevens discovered that padding IE malware with 0x00 bytes would happily slip past most of the scanners in use at Revisiting his earlier discovery, Didier found that detection on his initial samples had improved, but not by much. For all the talk of AV companies moving away from signature based detection to heuristics, it is painfully obvious that not many of the tested engines can successfully handle such a simple and well known obfuscation method and the best of those that can detect the obfuscation can only detect it as a generic malware type. At least the scanning engines that can detect the presence of malware with the obfuscation aren't trying to claim each differential as a new variant."

Ballmer "Interested" In Open Source Browser Engine 410

Da Massive writes "'Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?,' asked a young developer to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Sydney yesterday. 'That's cheeky, but a good question, but cheeky,' Ballmer said. Then came the startling revelation that Microsoft may also adopt an open source browser engine. 'Open source is interesting,' he said. 'Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8.'"

Microsoft's Internal Advice About Patents 100

BigPoppaT writes "Eric Brechner writes a best practices blog called Hard Code for Microsoft under the name I.M. Wright. His most recent post sounds like an endorsement of open source development (and does end with a call for Microsoft developers to participate in the shared source community). But even better is his advice regarding patents: 'When using existing libraries, services, tools, and methods from outside Microsoft, we must be respectful of licenses, copyrights, and patents. Generally, you want to carefully research licenses and copyrights (your contact in Legal and Corporate Affairs can help), and never search, view, or speculate about patents. I was confused by this guidance till I wrote and reviewed one of my own patents. The legal claims section--the only section that counts--was indecipherable by anyone but a patent attorney. Ignorance is bliss and strongly recommended when it comes to patents.' Interesting advice from inside Microsoft. I wonder if Ballmer would agree that ignorance should be 'strongly recommended when it comes to patents'?"
Hardware Hacking

X-Rays Emitted From Ordinary Scotch Tape 190

Maximum Prophet writes "When I was in High School, I built an X-Ray machine that (probably) didn't produce any X-Rays. I used an old vacuum tube and high voltage. Little did I know that simple triboluminescence would have enough energy to do useful work." The catch: you'll need to peel your tape in a vacuum, and have the x-ray film at the ready.

Number of ET Civilizations In Our Galaxy Is 37,964 544

KentuckyFC writes "The famous Drake equation calculates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy right now. But the result is hugely sensitive to the assumptions you make about factors such as the number of habitable planets that orbit a host star, how many of these actually develop life and what fraction of these go on to become intelligent etc. Disagreements about these figures leads to estimates for the number of advanced civilizations ranging from 10^-5 to 10^6. Now an astronomer in Scotland has worked out how to make the calculations more precise so that different theories about the origin of planets, life and civilizations can be compared. His calculations say that the rare-life hypothesis predicts only 361 advanced civilizations in the Milky Way now. However, the so-called tortoise and hare hypothesis predicts 31,573 and the theory of panspermia says that there ought to be 37,964 extraterrestrial civilizations more advanced than our own in the Milky Way."

Record Label Infringes Own Copyright, Site Pulled 282

AnonCow sends in a peculiar story from TorrentFreak, which describes the plight of a free-download music site that has been summarily evicted from the Internet for violating its own copyright. The problem seems to revolve around the host's insistence that proof of copyright be snail-mailed to them. Kind of difficult when your copyright takes the form of a Creative Commons license that cannot be verified unless its site is up. "The website of an Internet-based record label which offers completely free music downloads has been taken down by its host for copyright infringement, even though it only offers its own music. Quote Unquote Records calls itself 'The First Ever Donation Based Record Label,' but is currently homeless after its host pulled the plug."

Esther Dyson To Train For Space Flight 38

DynaSoar writes "Esther Dyson, known to many as a founding and consistently guiding member of ICANN, and for working with the startups of Flickr,, Medscape and others, is now expanding her interests upwards. She recently announced that she will be heading to Moscow to train as backup astronaut for Charles Simonyi, who plans to fly aboard Soyuz TMA-14 next year. The US$3 million price tag won't be her first cash contribution towards personal space flight. She's already an investor in Space Adventures, the company that arranges the space tourist flights on Soyuz."

Computer-Aided Lego Art Project 112

rsk writes "Justin Voskuhl, a Google engineer, in a 2-fold bid to fight boredom and figure out something to cover a large barren wall in his living room, one weekend developed a Java program using an annealing algorithm to figure out the best layout and colors of Lego blocks to reproduce a source image exclusively in Lego blocks inside a frame. He plans to release the source code soon. I probably would have just painted the wall ..."

Verizon Exposes the Wrong 1,200 Email Addresses 94

netbuzz writes "If you're going to market your expertise by inviting 1,200 IT professionals to a seminar about securing data and protecting personal information, it's probably a good idea to protect the personal information of those you invite. On Tuesday, Verizon forgot that advice and blasted each of the 1,200 email addresses to everyone on the list ... and they did it 17 times."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Prevent Gmail From Emailing Under the Influence 258

mikesd81 writes "Google has developed 'Mail Goggles,' a Gmail add-on that makes sending email from Gmail more difficult during certain times (which you can set). If you have Mail Goggles installed, it will force you to answer a series of math questions before sending out any new messages. You can adjust the math difficulty and times this option is in effect. If you get any of the questions wrong, Mail Goggles will say, 'Water and bed for you. Or try again.' Of course, if you set the math settings too high, you may have a tough time solving some of those problems in under 60 seconds, even when sober. Then again, if you're sober, you could just turn Mail Goggles off and hit send on that impassioned letter to your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or that flame to your boss."

Anti-Terrorist Data Mining Doesn't Work Very Well 163

Presto Vivace and others sent us this CNet report on a just-released NRC report coming to the conclusion, which will surprise no one here, that data mining doesn't work very well. It's all those darn false positives. The submitter adds, "Any chance we could go back to probable cause?" "A report scheduled to be released on Tuesday by the National Research Council, which has been years in the making, concludes that automated identification of terrorists through data mining or any other mechanism 'is neither feasible as an objective nor desirable as a goal of technology development efforts.' Inevitable false positives will result in 'ordinary, law-abiding citizens and businesses' being incorrectly flagged as suspects. The whopping 352-page report, called 'Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists,' amounts to [be] at least a partial repudiation of the Defense Department's controversial data-mining program called Total Information Awareness, which was limited by Congress in 2003."

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek