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Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
The Courts

Federal Judge Says Corps of Engineers Liable For Katrina Damage 486

Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers — and thus the US government — is liable for a big chunk of the damage caused when hurricane Katrina pushed ashore on August 29, 2005 by failing to stop the natural widening of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet canal (aka Mr. Go) causing it to eventually bump up against the shore of Lake Borgne, on the city's east side. 'It is the court's opinion that the negligence of the corps, in this instance by failing to maintain the MR-GO properly, was not policy, but insouciance, myopia, and shortsightedness,' wrote US District Court Judge Stanwood Duval. Judge Duval said he believed it was the failure to shore up the outlet that 'doomed the channel to grow to two to three times its design width' allowing waves on Lake Borgne to enter the Mr. Go and travel into the east side of the city, battering the levees to a degree to which they were not designed. 'One of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the US' was both predictable and preventable, testified veteran Louisiana geologist Sherwood Gagliano, a former Corps consultant."
Google

D&D On Google Wave 118

Jon Stokes at the Opposable Thumbs blog relates his experience using Google Wave as a platform for Dungeons and Dragons — the true test of success for any new communications technology. A post at Spirits of Eden lists some of Wave's strengths for gaming. Quoting: "The few games I'm following typically have at least three waves: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions ('table talk'), and the main wave where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to start waves between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn't be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private wave between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them. The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who's added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts."
Linux Business

Chinese Gov't Pushing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies 127

nerdyH writes "The Chinese government's 'Go Rural' program offers subsidies up to 13 percent for rural residents who purchase approved nettops or netbooks. The systems come with a version of Red Flag Linux built on the Moblin stack. Along with Internet access, the software is said to provide apps for crop and livestock management, farm production marketing, remote office access/automation, and even online tour and hotel booking systems. Of course, Windows dominates the China market, and if traditional patterns hold, about 30 percent of these subsidized systems could ultimately wind up re-installed with Windows."
Government

Nigerian "Scam Police" Shut Down 800 Web Sites 200

Sooner Boomer writes "Nigerian police, in what is named Operation 'Eagle Claw,' have shut down 800 scam web sites and arrested members of 18 syndicates behind the fraudulent scam sites. Reports on Breitbart.com and Pointblank give details on the busts. The investigation was done in cooperation with Microsoft to help develop smart technology software capable of detecting fraudulent emails. From Breitbart: 'When operating at full capacity, within the next six months, the scheme, dubbed "Eagle Claw," should be able to forewarn around a quarter of million potential victims.'"
Communications

Mozilla Messaging Unveils Raindrop 92

mhammond writes "Mozilla Messaging has just unveiled a Mozilla Labs project, Raindrop, an experiment with Open Messaging on the Open Web. Raindrop uses couchdb as a storage engine and to serve the HTML/CSS/Javascript application itself, while the back-end is primarily written in Python. Although it is early days yet, the concept that you own your data may be what sets this apart from Google Wave."
Data Storage

NCSU's Fingernail-Size Chip Can Hold 1TB 227

CWmike writes "Engineers from North Carolina State University have created a new fingernail-size chip that can hold 1 trillion bytes (a terabyte) of data. They said their nanostructured Ni-MgO system can store up to 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, 'far exceeding the storage capacities of today's computer memory systems.' Using the process of selective doping, in which an impurity is added to a material whose properties consequently change, the engineers worked at nanoscale and added metal nickel to magnesium oxide, a ceramic. The resulting material contained clusters of nickel atoms no bigger than 10 square nanometers — a pinhead has a diameter of 1 million nanometers. The discovery represents a 90% size reduction compared with today's techniques, and an advancement that could boost computer storage capacity. 'Instead of making a chip that stores 20 gigabytes, you have one that can handle one terabyte, or 50 times more data,' said the team's leader, Jagdish 'Jay' Narayan, director of the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at the university."
Government

California Moving Forward With Big-Screen TV Power Restrictions 339

Hugh Pickens writes "The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators are poised to pass the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions just as they did with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s. 'We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy,' said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. 'This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs.' California's estimated 35 million TVs and related electronic devices account for about 10% of all household electricity consumption, but manufacturers quickly are coming up with new technologies that are making even 50-inch-screen models much more economical to operate. Sets with screens of up to 58 inches would have until the start of 2011 to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, with more stringent rules being introduced two years later. If all TVs met state standards, California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant, says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported."
Power

Submission + - California to Ban Power-Guzzling Big-Screen TVs

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators are poised to pass the nation's first ban on energy-hungry big-screen televisions just as they did with refrigerators, air conditioners and dozens of other products since the 1970s. "We would not propose TV efficiency standards if we thought there was any evidence in the record that they will hurt the economy," said Commissioner Julia Levin, who has been in charge of the two-year rule-making procedure. "This will actually save consumers money and help the California economy grow and create new clean, sustainable jobs." California's estimated 35 million TVs and related electronic devices account for about 10% of all household electricity consumption but manufacturers quickly are coming up with new technologies that are making even 50-inch-screen models much more economical to operate. Sets with screens of up to 58 inches would have until the start of 2011 to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, with more stringent rules being introduced two years later. If all TVs met state standards California could avoid the $600-million cost of building a natural-gas-fired power plant says Ken Rider, a commission staff engineer. Switching to more-efficient TVs could have an estimated net benefit to the state of $8.1 billion, the commission staff reported."
Math

The Myth of the Mathematics Gender Gap 588

Coryoth writes "The widely held belief that there is disparity in the innate mathematical abilities of men and women has been steadily whittled down in recent years. The gender gap in basic mathematics skills closed some time ago, and recently the gap in high school mathematics has closed up as well, with as many girls as boys now taking high school calculus. Newsweek reports on a new study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that begins to lay to rest the remaining argument that it is at the highest levels of mathematics that the innate differences show. Certainly men dominate current academia, with 70% of mathematics Ph.D.s going to men; however that figure is down from 95% in the 1950s. Indeed, while there remain gaps in achievement between the genders, the study shows that not only are these gaps closing, but the size of the gap varies over differing cultures and correlates with the general degree of gender inequality in the culture (as defined by World Economic Forum measures). In all, this amounts to strong evidence that the differences in outcomes in mathematics between the genders is driven by sociocultural factors rather than innate differences in ability."
Education

Submission + - Masters or not? 2

mx12 writes: With the semester finishing up, I have been thinking about my education future. I am currently an undergrad in computer engineering and I am thinking about getting my masters. I have a year left in school, and most of my professors seem to think that getting a masters is a great idea, but I wanted to hear from people out in the working world. If I could get my masters paid for by the lab I work in, is a masters in computer engineering better than two years of experience at a company?

Thanks everyone!
Portables

Submission + - The World's (very) First Netbook (thecoffeedesk.com) 5

Not-A-Microsoft-Fan writes: Netbooks are making huge waves within the hardware and software industries today, but not many would believe that the whole Netbook craze actually started back around 1996 with the Toshiba Libretto 70CT. Termed technically as a subnotebook because of its small dimensions (given below), the computer is the first that fits all of the qualifications of being what we would term a Netbook today, due in part to its built-in Infrared and PCMCIA hardware, and it's (albeit early) web browsing software.

The hardware includes the two (potentially) wireless PCMCIA and Infrared network connections, Windows 95 OSR 2 with Internet Explorer 2.0, a whole 16MB of RAM and a 120Mhz Intel Pentium processor (we're flying now!).

Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Project of the month on SourceForge.net: DOSBox (kingofgng.com) 1

KingofGnG writes: "DOSBox, the emulator designed to run DOS games on modern operating systems (and not necessarily on a PC), has been chosen as project of the month for May 2009 on the open source platform SourceForge.net. It's the latest award granted to a software that "simply does what it is supposed to do", as the authors state, and that after having summed up more than 10 millions downloads is ready for an update awaited since almost two years."
Security

Submission + - Should Developers Be Liable for their Code? (linuxjournal.com)

Glyn Moody writes: "They might be, if a new European Commission consumer protection proposal, which suggests "licensing should guarantee consumers the same basic rights as when they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions," becomes law. The idea of making Microsoft pay for the billions of dollars of damage caused by flaws in its product is certainly attractive, but where would this idea leave free software coders?"

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