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+ - Best IT-infrastructure for a small company 2

Submitted by DiniZuli
DiniZuli (621956) writes "I've been imployed by a small NGO to remake their entire IT-infrastructure from scratch. It's a small company counting 20 employees. I would like to ask the /.-crowd and gather some experience and knowledge from you — what worked out best for you and why? I came up with a small list:
Are there any must have books on building the IT infrastructure?
New desktops: should it be laptops (with dockingstations), regular desktop machines or thin clients? A special brand? Ubuntu, Windows or?
Servers: We need a server for authentication and usermanagement. We also need an internal mediaserver (we have thousands of big image and videofiles, and the archive grows bigger every year). Finally we would like to have our webserver in house. Which hardware is good? Which setup, software and OS'es have worked the best for you?
Network: We are redoing everything: routers, schwitches, wireless, authentication — even the wiring. Which setup do you think is the best for a small company?
Which backup solutions do you use?
Since we are remaking everything, this list is not exhaustive, so feel free to comment on anything important not on the list."
Java

+ - Is it possible to make a game with only 4KB?->

Submitted by
ArniArent
ArniArent writes "A game programming competition, at Java4K.com (http://www.java4k.com), has just started. This is the fifth time it's running and might be one of the largest game programming competition in the Java community, with over 50 games submitted each year! Everyone are allowed to submit their game, as long as it follows the simple rules; the game must be written in Java and final package 4KB max! You might ask, what can you do with only 4KB? Are these text based games? Amazingly they have managed to create very nice looking 2D and also 3D games that are fun to play. This might be a good start for anyone interested in learning game programming, and is also a good time consumer for anyone who got nothing better to do over the holidays! :) Check out http://www.java4k.com for more information."
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Power

+ - Electric vehicles to back up the power grid 1

Submitted by holy_calamity
holy_calamity (872269) writes "Researchers in Delaware are working with electricity grid giant PJM on a scheme to use the batteries of electric vehicles to backup the grid while parked. Cars typically spend 23 hours a day off the road. During that time electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles can soak up excess generated power or trickle juice into the grid to smooth out mis-matches between supply and demand. Just 100 electric vehicles running the vehicle-to-grid software like their current prototype can provide 1MW of storage. City officials in Austin, Texas are keen to try the idea."
Security

+ - California Testers Find Flaws in Voting Machines-> 1

Submitted by quanticle
quanticle (843097) writes "According to Ars Technica, California testers have discovered severe flaws in the ES&S voting machines. The paper seals were easily bypassed, and the lock could be picked with a "common office implement". After cracking the physical security the device, the testers found it simple to reconfigure the BIOS to boot off external media. After booting a version of Linux, they found that critical system files were stored in plain text. They also found that the election management system that initializes the voting machines used unencrypted protocols to transmit the initialization data to the voting machines, allowing for a man-in-the-middle attack.

Altogether, it is a troubling report for a company already in hot water for selling uncertified equipment to counties."

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Communications

+ - 99% recognition accuracy on thousands of voices!->

Submitted by
Wireless speech recognition
Wireless speech recognition writes "IBM Research announces the new Cell Broadband Engine(tm) Cell/B.E processor; capable of literally perfect recognition on thousands of voices, at once. This new Cell/B.E. is a streaming multiprocessor who's architecture contains a general-purpose IBM PowerPC processor, working with additional special-purpose processing cores jointly designed by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM.

The Cell/B.E. can handle thousands of simultaneous voice channels in real time, and IBM states "On both the Cell/B.E. processor and the software platforms, recognition accuracy was 99%".

The research team goes on to conclude:
"We have implemented and demonstrated a prototype speech recognition engine that is capable of processing approximately 1,000 speech channels on a single Cell/B.E. processor. The kernel computations are designed to be highly scalable, and we expect this performance result to generalize well to commercial speech systems."

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Data Storage

+ - Samsung's 64GB SSD drive review-> 4

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "Computerworld's Rich Ericson reviewed Samsung's first large capacity solid state disk drive and says it's heartier and faster than the drive in Sony's new flash-based notebook. It's also got an impressive mean time between failure of more than 2 million hours, versus under 500,000 hours for the Samsung's other traditional hard drives and the company says the drive can withstand an operating shock of 1,500Gs at .5 miliseconds (versus 300Gs at 2 miliseconds for a traditional hard drive. "Power consumption is just 1 watt when the system is active, 0.1 watt when idle, and .06 watt in standby mode. (Equivalent power consumption figures with hard drives are 2.1, 1.5, and .2 watts, respectively.) That could explain why we got 5 hours, 22 minutes of power in Max Battery mode when surfing the Web, creating documents with OpenOffice, or uploading and downloading files to an FTP server.""
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Social Networks

+ - Applications go outside of Facebook

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Up until now facebook applications have been inaccessible to the millions of people on the Internet that haven't joined Facebook yet. This policy also prevented applications from being indexed by search engines had the potential to fuel their growth significantly.

As of now facebook has started allowing people to access application canvas pages even when not logged in to Facebook, whilst still respecting their users' privacy. This means that user-specific data available on public canvas pages will be first name and profile picture (and then only if the user's profile picture is already publicly searchable). A fantastic example of this at work is Sponsor Me (http://apps.facebook.com/sponsor-me/), a facebook application which allows users to setup and run campaigns for any purpose. As you can see due to the recent facebook changes, Sponsor Me campaigns are now available to external users, giving the ability for campaigns to be discovered by the millions of non-facebook users which otherwise wouldn't be able to help out.

This can surely only help attract more user to facebook, as application developers find all new ways to tempt users into facebook with the variety of applications."
Microsoft

+ - Users, Web Developers Vent Over IE7's First Year->

Submitted by outlando
outlando (1198685) writes "After a year of IE7, Tony Chor at M$ has written a glowingly self-congratulatory entry in the IE blog. The comments, from various developers, designers and other industry professionals, tell a rather different story to the one outlined in the blog entry itself.
PC World's story is here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140299/article.html

Unfortunately, PC World neglected to provide a link to the blog entry itself. You can find it at http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2007/11/30/the-first-year-of-ie7.aspx"

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The Courts

+ - Mounties claim major movie-piracy bust->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The RCMP says it has nabbed a major player in the lucrative world of Internet movie piracy. Montreal resident Geremi Adam, 25, is considered by the FBI as a world leader in Internet movie piracy."
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