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Microsoft

Dell Says Re-Imaging HDs a Burden If Word Banned 376

N!NJA writes "In an amicus curiae brief filed on Aug. 24, Dell asked the judge overseeing the Eastern District Court of Texas to reconsider its order blocking sales of Word, part of the original ruling in favor of Canadian software developer i4i. In the worst case, the brief argued, the injunction should be delayed by 120 days. 'The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft,' Dell and HP wrote. 'Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell.' 'If Microsoft is required to ship a revised version of Word in Dell's computers, a change would need to be made to Dell's images,' Dell wrote. 'Making such a change would require extensive time- and resource- consuming testing.' An addendum to the brief notes that it was authored in Microsoft Word, part of Office 2003."
News

Obama Calls For Nuke-Free World 705

jamie points out news that President Obama has put out a call for a world free of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague today. He acknowledged that it was a long-term goal, perhaps not something that can be accomplished in his lifetime, but promised to encourage the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty. According to the BBC, he also stated his desire to "negotiate a new treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons," and to hold a global summit within the next year to work out agreements for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it." His speech came less than a day after North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.

Comment Parallel programming is hard, film at 11. (Score 5, Informative) 626

The /. summary of TFA is almost exquisitely bad. It's not Window or Linux that's not ready for multicore (as both have supported multi-processor machines for on the order of a decade or more), but rather the userspace applications that aren't ready. The reason is simple: Parallel programming is rather hard, and historically most ISVs have haven't wanted to invest in it because they could rely on the processors getting faster every year or two... but no longer.

One area where I disagree with TFA is the claimed paucity of programming models and tools. Virtually every OS out there supports some kind of concurrent programming model, and often more than one depending on what language is used -- pthreads, Win32 threads, Java threads, OpenMP, MPI or Global Arrays on the high end, etc. Most debuggers (even gdb) also support debugging threaded programs, and if those don't have enough heft, there's always Totalview. The problem is that most ISVs have studiously avoided using any of these except when given no other choice.

--t

Microsoft

Microsoft Unveils "Elevate America" 325

nandemoari writes "In response to the current economic crisis, Microsoft Corp. has come out with a stimulus plan of their own. Their goal is to help a large group of individuals use their computers to land employment in ways other than to generate a compelling resume. The new online initiative, Elevate America, is set to equip close to 2 million people (over the next three years) with the skills needed to succeed in the field of technology."
Programming

Walter Bright Ports D To the Mac 404

jonniee writes "D is a programming language created by Walter Bright of C++ fame. D's focus is on combining the power and high performance of C/C++ with the programmer productivity of modern languages like Ruby and Python. And now he's ported it to the Macintosh. Quoting: '[Building a runtime library] exposed a lot of conditional compilation issues that had no case for OS X. I found that Linux has a bunch of API functions that are missing in OS X, like getline and getdelim, so some of the library functionality had to revert to more generic code for OS X. I had to be careful, because although many system macros had the same functionality and spelling, they had different expansions. Getting these wrong would cause some mysterious behavior, indeed.'"
Image

More Brains Needed Screenshot-sm 232

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that more people need to donate their brains to medical research if cures for diseases like dementia are to be found and are urging healthy people as well as those with brain disorders to become donors. 'For autism, we only have maybe 15 or 20 brains that have been donated that we can do our research on. That is drastically awful,' said Dr Payam Rezaie of the Neuropathology Research Laboratory at the Open University. 'We would need at least 100 cases to get meaningful data. A lot of research is being hindered by this restriction.' Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity. 'It used to be other parts of the body that we thought were important,' says Esin. 'But now people realize that their brain is the crucial thing that gives them their mind and their self.' Dr Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society, said over 90% of the brains in their bank at Imperial College London were from patients, with the remaining 10% of 'healthy' brains donated by friends or relatives of patients. 'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen. 'Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

Comment Er, hasn't xCAT been open source for years? (Score 1) 77

I mean, it has a SourceForge page whose mailing list archives go back to 2001, fer cryin' out loud.

Now some of the "OpenHPC" stuff appears to be new, but not all of it appears to originate from IBM. For instance, part of it appears to be a repackaging of the SLURM batch system from LLNL. The one thing that looks like a genuine contribution from IBM is the "Advance Toolchain" stuff, but even that appears to draw heavily from existing open source code bases like valgrind.

Microsoft

Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)
Software

Sun Exec Backs GPLv3 94

Hyperbeth writes "Sun's chief open-source officer Simon Phipps said that existing work towards GPLv3 had been 'extraordinary and effective' and he said he is 'frankly amazed by the criticisms'. The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2." From the article: "I am frankly amazed by the criticisms that have [been] levelled at the GPLv3 process. They seem to ignore the incredible and positive way it is evolving and just find fault with things that are already the subject of work... I would be very surprised if the final GPLv3 was not an effective tool for some of the communities Sun sustains or will initiate in the future."
Google

Submission + - Google helping DoD track certain searchers

jcaruso writes: "Blogger Mark Gibbs says he was searching on Google for "binary explosives," and Firefox popped up a warning that a Web site certificate involved in the transaction couldn't be verified — the certificate was issued to the Department of Defense. Writes Gibbs: "So, it looks like the Department of Defense with Google's help is tracking me because I used a suspicious search term. It also looks like either the DoD aren't really good at stealth or they want me to know that they are watching. Definitely lame either way.""

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