from wikipedia and the internet in general
LABarr writes "AP and CNN are carrying a story that has forced scientists to re-evaluate the longevity of mammals. A bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt over a century ago. 'Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3½-inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old. The bomb lance fragment, lodged in a bone between the whale's neck and shoulder blade, was likely manufactured in New Bedford, on the southeast coast of Massachusetts, a major whaling center at that time. It was probably shot at the whale from a heavy shoulder gun around 1890.' "
ReadWriteWeb writes "This afternoon Firefox 2 will be 'officially' launched. In anticipation of the unveiling, ReadWriteWeb has a brief interview with Chris Beard — Mozilla Vice President of Products. Subjects discussed include the growing enterprise usage of Firefox, the importance of user experience and security, Mozilla's theory behind Web feeds and why they haven't included an integrated RSS Reader, the growing add-on ecosystem, offline browsing, and finally a little about the future of the browser." From the article: "It felt to us like a 2.0 product, particularly if we looked at it from what 1.0 was, to 2.0. It was like half steps, from 1.0 to 1.5 to 2.0. It's also a very stable and rock solid release - it's really ready for the masses. So it really does feel like a 2, as opposed to a 1.x product. Firefox 2 has, we estimate, between 3-4 times the number of fixes than FF 1.5 did. And that doesn't just include fixes and bugs, but all of the feature work as well as memory, stability and security issues. But there's certainly a lot in it which makes it really solid." Also on the site is a concise review of the product, and an overview of Marketing Firefox 2.0.
Nieske writes "Prices and the release date for Windows Vista have leaked online. Ed Bott's Microsoft Report has information on pricing, and the release date is currently January 30th, 2007. Are they really going to make the deadline this time?" From the ZDNet article: "In Canada, at least, the rumors of a 'modest' price increase were true, based on this list. Will these same relative prices hold true in the U.S.? Who knows? But if they do, then it's mostly good news for Windows customers. There's no price increase for Home Basic. Home Premium, the Vista version that maps most closely to the OEM-only Windows XP Media Center Edition, will finally be available as a retail product for a slight bump over the Home Basic product, similar to the $39 premium typically charged by large OEMs for Media Center upgrades. And Vista Business buyers will get a break with a small discount relative to XP Professional."
jefu writes "The Hungarian government is sponsoring an internet vote to name a new bridge. So far naming the bridge after acter Chuck Norris has been the most popular. However, last night Stephen Colbert (of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report") suggested that viewers vote to name the bridge after him. Remembering the effect that a Colbert segment had had on Wikipedia, I visited the voting page (in Hungarian when it works) soon after that and it was completely non-responsive. This morning (8:00 Thursday Pacific time) it is showing a "Horrible exception" and a Jetspeed/tomcat stack trace. " I believe Colbert's straight-talking sensibilities have earned him far more than just a bridge in whatever continent Hungaria is in. Instead I think we should consider renaming one of our lesser used states as an honor more appropriate to his grippy contributions to America. We're not doing anything with Colorado these days anyway, but imagine the appeal of a new and improved state with a virile name like Colberado. Book your tickets today!
Nate writes "Freespire 1.0 was released a few days ago, taking the desktop-oriented Linspire distribution and making it freely available (as in beer) to the world. Linux Format has some first impressions of the release, focusing on its much-trumpeted media playback facilities thanks to codec licensing. Flash, Java, DVD and WMV support out-the-box — could this climb to the top of the desktop distro ladder?"
Glyn writes "Time magazine is reporting on Josh Wolf the 'first blogger to be targeted by federal authorities for not cooperating with a grand jury.' Josh would have normally been protected from government coercion by California state shield laws but the prosecutors have argued its a federal matter, using quite shaky logic. Josh's blog is being updated by his mother, providing updates on what is happening. From the article: '"Not only does this logic seem silly," Wolf told TIME in June after receiving his final subpoena, "but if unchallenged it will have a deleterious effect on the state protections afforded to many journalists, both independent and those that are part of the established media." Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court rejected Wolf's arguments, and declared him in contempt of court. So he is now being held in a detention center in Dublin, Calif, where he could remain until next July.'"
bart_scriv writes "BusinessWeek looks at the current entrepreneurs of Web 2.0 via the lens of Kevin Rose and Digg. Although the article focuses on the rise and success of Digg, it also looks at the ethos of Web 2.0 and its successful companies, including YouTube, Del.icio.us, Facebook and Xfire. From the article: 'Clearly much has changed since 1999, and Rose and his fellow wealth punks have little in common with the sharp-talking MBAs in crisp khakis and blue button-downs who rushed the Valley as the NASDAQ climbed. In the late 1990s, entrepreneurs were the supplicants, and Sand Hill Road, dotted with venture-capital firms, was the mecca. Dot-commers relied on VCs for the millions needed to buy hardware, rent servers, hire designers, and advertise like crazy to bring in the eyeballs. For their big stakes of, say, $15 million for 20% of a company, venture capitalists received board seats, control of the management levers, and most of the equity. Now, it's more like: Maybe we'll let you throw a few bucks our way -- if you get it. Otherwise, get lost.'"
escay writes "Cardinal, the Beta 1 version of Firefox-based browser Flock, was released Tuesday with many polished features. Some of the features include drag-and-drop photo uploading for Flickr and Photobucket, an in-built RSS aggregator, direct blogging tool, and shared favorites/bookmarks. In step with Web 2.0 philosophy, Flock provides a rich user-centric experience, making it easier to bring information to the user and vice versa. It is available for Linux/Mac/Windows, and you can download it here. (And for those of you trying to get Flash working in Firefox on an AMD64 Linux machine, try this and be pleasantly surprised!)"
bariswheel writes "In a paper co-authored by the Microkernel Maestro Andrew Tanenbaum, the fragility of modern kernels are addressed: "Current operating systems have two characteristics that make them unreliable and insecure: They are huge and they have very poor fault isolation. The Linux kernel has more than 2.5 million lines of code; the Windows XP kernel is more than twice as large." Consider this analogy: "Modern ships have multiple compartments within the hull; if one compartment springs a leak, only that one is flooded, not the entire hull. Current operating systems are like ships before compartmentalization was invented: Every leak can sink the ship." Clearly one argument here is security and reliability has surpassed performance in terms of priorities. Let's see if our good friend Linus chimes in here; hopefully we'll have ourselves another friendly conversation."
An anonymous reader writes "With more and more iPod accessories being released by Apple all the time many users are speculating that Apple is trying to shoulder the after-market iPod companies aside. However, at least one user doesn't see it that way, and thinks that Apple's move may actually help the after-market companies. From the article: 'Even if it wanted to, Apple knows that it couldn't simply make the iPod accessory market participants magically go away. If Apple did try to steal their lunch, all it would succeed in doing would be to drive those companies straight into the arms of the iPod's competitors, most of whom are desperate to see any kind of an accessory market form around their players. And that's the last thing Apple wants to have happen.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Script kiddies have been taking advantage of intrusion prevention features of Symantec's Norton Firewall and Norton Internet Security Suites to knock users offline in IRC channels, according to an amusing post at Washingtonpost.com. From the article: 'Turns out that if someone types "startkeylogger" or "stopkeylogger" in an IRC channel, anyone on the channel using the affected Norton products will be immediately kicked off without warning. These are commands typically issued by the Spybot worm, which spreads over IRC and peer-to-peer file-swapping networks, installing a program that records and transmits everything the victim types (known as a keylogger).' Makes you wonder what other magic keywords produce unexpected results with Symantec's software."