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New Zealand Government Opens UFO Files 100

astroengine writes "Following hot on the heels of a series of international UFO sighting disclosures, the New Zealand government has joined the party and made public 2,000 pages of UFO eyewitness accounts dating back to 1952. Helpfully, the NZ newspaper The Dominion Post has scanned the documents and has made them available online. Among the accounts of alien encounters and strange lights in the sky is one of New Zealand's most famous UFO mystery: the Kaikoura sighting. But was it aliens? Probably not, but it makes for an entertaining read."

RIP, SunSolve 100

Kymermosst writes "Today marks the last day that SunSolve will be available. Oracle sent the final pre-deployment details today for the retirement of SunSolve and the transition to its replacement, My Oracle Support Release 5.2, which begins tomorrow. People who work with Sun's hardware and software have long used SunSolve as a central location for specifications, patches, and documentation."

Apache Resigns From the JCP Executive Committee 136

iammichael writes "The Apache Software Foundation has resigned its seat on the Java SE/EE Executive Committee due to a long dispute over the licensing restrictions placed on the TCK (test kit validating third-party Java implementations are compatible with the specification)."

Comment Re:Gluttons for abuse (Score 1) 299

> 20 years ago, lockdown was the norm. Finding a fucking *compiler* that didn't cost hundreds or thousands of dollars was completely impossible. But things changed. Why? Consumer choice.

Maybe on your planet.

Here on planet earth, 20 years ago:
- Turbo Pascal was $50 since .. 1985 or so? (I think it was still called "Compass Pascal" then)
- Basic was just disappearing from the DOS of the time (GWBasic), and reappearing as cut-down QuickBasic
- GCC version 1 was available
- Every computer before the IBM PC came with usable Basic (I still used my C64 in 92 -- though not its basic). The BBC-B additionally had a built in Assembler. The Apple ][ (circa '78) additionaly had a built in Machine Code monitor.
- Mix C, a very able development environment, was $30

Lockdown was definitely NOT the norm. No system provider actively tried to thwart modifications back then for anything less than a Mainframe -- although that's around the time the trend started (Lexmark printer cartridges; SNES cartridges; etc.)

Comment Re:Gluttons for abuse (Score 0) 299

Many people disagree with Apple, but at least Apple are upfront about what they do, and why they do it. They'll bow to the MAFIAA occasionally if they think it would make a better media experience (or fit better with their plans for world domination), but they are coherent and mostly honest.

Microsoft's evil is expressed in a lot of underhanded tactics. That includes stuffing the ISO committees in favour of OOXML (which has damaged that organization's ability to work for a while now), threatening companies like ASUS who have a viable product (eee) that doesn't depend on Microsoft to make sure that they don't actually try to work it, and a whole lot other.

Comment Re:If I could do it, I would! (Score 1) 658

You know, there are a few other differences between Venezuela and the US besides corporate personhood; e.g., in Denmark, corporations are not persons -- yet, they enjoy just as much freedom of the press there as in the US if not more.

And, if the government wants to hurt a company, it can be virtue of being the largest consumer of almost anything; Ask Qwest CEO what happens when the government asks you to participate in an illegal wiretapping program, and you refuse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwest

People, the point in learning from example is not to look for an example that agrees with your prejudice -- it is to look for an example that CONTRASTS with your prejudice and see what you can actually learn from it. Always compare to European countries (Denmark, Sweden and Norway are good targets) when someone proposes a change, especially if you get the urge to compare to Central America or South America.


Nmap 5.20 Released 36

ruphus13 writes "Nmap has a new release out, and it's a major one. It includes a GUI front-end called Zenmap, and, according to the post, 'Network admins will no doubt be excited to learn that Nmap is now ready to identify Snow Leopard systems, Android Linux smartphones, and Chumbies, among other OSes that Nmap can now identify. This release also brings an additional 31 Nmap Scripting Engine scripts, bringing the total collection up to 80 pre-written scripts for Nmap. The scripts include X11 access checks to see if X.org on a system allows remote access, a script to retrieve and print an SSL certificate, and a script designed to see whether a host is serving malware. Nmap also comes with netcat and Ndiff. Source code and binaries are available from the Nmap site, including RPMs for x86 and x86_64 systems, and binaries for Windows and Mac OS X. '"

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

Arrington's CrunchPad Dies 175

adeelarshad82 writes "Michael Arrington announced the death of the CrunchPad on Monday morning in a blog post heavily spiced with angst and drama. According to Arrington, the Crunchpad, a 12-inch Web tablet expected to be priced at about $300, was just days away from launch. At the last minute, however, Arrington received an email from Chandra Rathakrishnan, the chief executive of manufacturing partner Fusion Garage, apparently trying to cut Arrington out of the product on the eve of the launch. Fusion Garage, according to Arrington, wanted to market the device itself under its own name; which obviously was the deal breaker. Arrington claims that the company had overcome obstacles at every stage in the business such as deals with Intel, retail launch, securing venture capital and angel investments. Interesting bit is that some were already speculating that the Crunchpad was not real."

Comment Re:Any good audio engineer will tell you- (Score 1) 849

No, he's right; There is no absolute or relative "quality" measure to speak of such as you mentioned. While what you say is common knowledge, it has in fact been proven in several rigorous tests that professional wine tasters can usually tell the $2 bottle from the $20 bottle, but not the $20 from the $200 or the $2000 bottle; And in supposedly non-blind tests where they can see the label, they consistently rate the more expensive wine as better -- even when the labels have been swapped and it's on the bottle with the cheaper wine.
See e.g. Mlodinow on wine

Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money? 263

An anonymous reader writes "Now that some little time has passed, and the hype has died down a bit, I'm wondering if anyone has taken the $500 plunge and gotten a Kindle DX. From the academic-paper-reading-geek perspective, is it worth the money? How well does it work with PDFs, and is it easy to get them on and off? I haven't been able to find any good reviews on the interweb that address its usability as I would like to use it."

Comment Re:Get involved in an Open Source project (Score 2, Interesting) 540

Agree completely. Find a FOSS project that uses the same technologies as you'd like to use in your 9-5 job, and get stuck in. It (generally) costs nothing more than your own time.

Given a choice between 2 programmers with similar skillsets and experience, I'd be inclined to go with the guy who's got FOSS coding experience in his background. The implication is that you're prepared to put your code out there for peer review (which takes some guts), and you're prepared to write code to scratch your own personal itches. Both of those demonstrate qualities in the people I'd want to work for me.

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