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IT

Submission + - Confessions of a SysAdmin (crunchgear.com) 1

Mr.Fork writes: "Scott Merrill from Crunchgear has a confession. He really really hates computers, in particular, WINDOWS-based computers. He writes: I hate computers. No, really, I hate them. I love the communications they facilitate, I love the conveniences they provide to my life, and I love the escapism they sometimes afford; but I actually hate the computers themselves.

Does his editorial speak to all of us in similiar IT related fields? Do we all silently hate the complexities and idiocentricities computers have like error messages and stupid designs that make no sense to the common user that make our tech professions miserable? IS Scott's onto something...?"

Submission + - How porn drives tech

smooth wombat writes: We have all heard how it was the adult industry which initially drove vcr sales and how it is the adult industry which readily embraces new technology. This article from CNN talks about all that and more, including the company who says it is able to bypass Apple's iPad restrictions on adult material. There is even some talk about using AI in the future to have interaction between the porn star and user.

As a side note, the article mentions a new adult movie in the works titled, "3D Zen and Sex" which the producer says "There will be many close-ups. It will look as if the actresses are only a few centimeters from the audience."

Comment Re:Groovy + other languages (Score 2, Interesting) 667

I would say that the future popularity of the JVM is pretty secure with groovy, jruby, scala and the myriad of other languages that are now available on the JVM, see wikipedia List_of_JVM_languages.

There is a huge advantage to java programmers by staying within the familiar JVM world when changing a language rather than jumping to a completely new and foreign environment - familiar stacktraces, reusable libraries etc.

The "primary" language on the JVM - java will inevitably evolve slower (JCP = design by committee) and will therefore struggle to remain at the cutting edge.
Education

NZ School Goes Open Source Amid Microsoft Mandate 305

Dan Jones writes "Kiwis have built an entire school IT system out of open source software, in less than two months, despite a deal between the New Zealand government and Microsoft that effectively mandates the use of Microsoft products in the country's schools. Albany Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Auckland has been running an entirely open source infrastructure since it opened in 2009. It's using a range of applications like OpenOffice, Moodle for education content, Mahara for student portfolios, and Koha for the library catalogue. Ubuntu Linux is on the desktop and Mandriva provides the server. Interestingly, the school will move into new purpose-built premises this year, which include a dedicated server room design based on standard New Zealand school requirements, including four racks each capable of holding 48 servers for its main systems. The main infrastructure at Albany Senior High only requires four servers, suggesting an almost 50-fold saving on hardware requirements."
Software

Providing a Closed Source License Upon Request? 245

goruka writes "As a citizen of the open source community, I have written several applications and libraries and released under the BSD license. Because of my license choice, I often run into the situation where a company wants to write software for a closed platform using my code or libraries. Even though there should be no restrictions on usage, companies very often request a different license, citing as a valid reason that the creator of such platform has special terms forbidding 'open source software' in the contracts forced upon the developer. So my question is, has anyone else run into this situation, and are there examples of such licenses that I can provide? (Please keep in mind that I'm not a US resident and I don't have access or resources to afford a lawyer there.)"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Pulls Office From Its Own Online Store (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Microsoft has pulled almost every version of Office from its own online store to comply with a court order requiring it to remove custom XML technology from its popular Word software that starts on Monday. As of mid-day, the only edition available from the Microsoft Store was Office Ultimate 2007, a $670 'full-version' suite. All other Windows editions, as well as Office 2008 for Mac, were accompanied by the message: 'This product is currently unavailable while we update versions on our site. We expect it to be available soon.' Microsoft confirmed that the disappearance of Office was related to the injunction that came out of a patent infringement case the company lost in 2009. 'We've taken steps to comply with the court's ruling and we're introducing the revised software into the U.S. market," said Michael Croan, a senior marketing manager, in an e-mail. He also downplayed the move. 'This process will be imperceptible to the vast majority of customers, who will find both trial and purchase options readily available.'
Earth

Submission + - Crumbling reactor springs tritium leak (rutlandherald.com) 1

mdsolar writes: The decrepit nuclear reactor Vermont Yankee http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/07/09/08/2036240/New-Legislation-Proposed-For-Nuclear-Safety has sprung a radioactive leak similar to those at other poorly run reactors in Illinois (Braidwood, Byron and Dresden), Arizona (Palo Verde) and New York (Indian Point). The problem of radioactive tritium leaks even threatens Champagne from France http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/radioactive-champagne-30-06-06 And, 55 people were intentionally poisoned with tritium in India last year http://weblog.greenpeace.org/nuclear-reaction/2009/12/tritium_poisoning_at_indias_ka.html

Tritium and its decay product helium 3 are incredibly valuable and there is currently a shortage of helium 3 http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/11/23/1859204/Program-To-Detect-Smuggled-Nuclear-Bombs-Stalls What, besides shutting down leaky old nuclear plants, could be done to better control release of tritium into the environment?

Mozilla

Submission + - Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. "Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to 'include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,'" wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own.
Space

Submission + - Satellite Professionals call for Space Solar Power (ohio.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: The Journal of Space Communication (for Society for Satellite Professionals International) has devoted the latest issue to Solar Power Satellites
Be sure to read the Sunsat Act article. They show we need to add Space Solar Power to our energy mix by chartering a Space Solar Power company, Sunsat Corp., to build power satellites, just as Congress chartered Comsat Corp. to build communications satellites.

Science

Submission + - Jan. 11, 1902 — Popular Mechanics Launches (adskhjladsjklhadsf.net)

ScuttleMonkey writes: "Today, back in 1902 Henry Haven Windsor published the first issue of Popular Mechanics, helping to propel geeks of future generations with straightforward explanations of scientific and mechanical advances. "The magazine has reported both the brilliant and ridiculous ideas of its times, depending on the writer, scientist or editor. It once published an article about a Philadelphia physician who supposedly used X-rays to turn blacks into whites: probably not a great editorial decision. Betting on blimps over planes for so long might not have been advisable, and hyping excessive consumption during the birth of the environmental movement in the 1960s also rates a demerit. But beyond those probable transgressions, Popular Mechanics paved the way for the people’s incursion into science’s once-exclusive domain. Its longevity argues that science and its sometimes inscrutable possibility have raw mass appeal — even if the subject is cars with steering wheels in the back seat or self-diagnosing appliances.""
Earth

Submission + - Sponge-Like “Swelling Glass” Absorbs (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: A company called Absorbent Materials has created a new kind of “swelling glass” that can clean up contaminated groundwater by soaking up volatile molecules like a sponge. Dubbed Obsorb, the material can hold up to 8 times its weight in fuel, oil, and solvents without sucking up any of the water itself. Once the material is full it floats to the surface and the pollutants can be skimmed off.

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