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Biotech

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133

eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."
Encryption

Sophos Researcher Suggests Password 'Free' to Spur Wi-Fi Encryption 332

An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of concerns about FireSheep sniffing credentials from people using unencrypted public WiFi hotspots, a security researcher has proposed that the problem does not just lie with big websites like Facebook, but also with those who provide free wireless internet access. Chet Wisniewski, a researcher at security firm Sophos, proposes that all free WiFi hotspots should be encrypted — with the password 'free.' ''I propose standard adoption of WPA2 and a default password of "free." Whenever you wish to connect to complimentary WiFi, you select "Courtyard Marriott" or "Starbucks" like you always have, but you are then prompted for a password. Just type "free". It's not hard. In fact, operating system vendors could even program your PC to automatically try the password "free" before prompting you for a password on the assumption that you might be selecting a free service.'"
Businesses

What's the Oracle Trial Against SAP Really About? 160

Ponca City writes "Chris O'Brien writes in the Merucry News that Larry Ellison's lawsuit against bitter rival SAP gives Ellison the opportunity to deliver the final humiliation to his company's greatest foe of the past decade while sending a blunt message to Oracle's next great enemy, Hewlett-Packard: 'This is who you are fighting. This is how determined we are to win. Get ready.' O'Brien writes that it's a crafty bit of psychological warfare that is already having the desired effect. When Oracle decided to subpoena former SAP CEO Léo Apotheker after he was appointed president and CEO of HP, Apotheker decided to stay out of the country to avoid testifying so now we have the bizarre spectacle of the new CEO of the largest technology company in the world unable to show his face in Silicon Valley. Ellison loves to fight. In gaining control of PeopleSoft, Ellison demonstrated the love of combat and confrontation that has made him one of the wealthiest men on the planet. He waged an 18-month hostile takeover bid to acquire the company, and fought off an effort by the US Department of Justice to torpedo the deal. 'Oracle probably could have settled this case [with SAP],' writes O'Brien. 'But why pass up a glorious chance to subpoena Apotheker and send your new opponent running in circles?'"
Graphics

Doing Digital Art When You Can't Use Your Hand? 131

Sludge writes "A good friend of mine who is a digital artist was recently involved in a house fire in which he suffered third degree burns to his 'art hand' which have made him unable to handle a mouse or a stylus for the coming months. If you or anyone near you has lost the ability to do something you love due to a physical injury, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. I need help discovering alternative software and input devices he can use while he recovers the ability to use his hand. The programs he uses most are 3dsmax, Z-Brush and Photoshop and he is used to working with a Wacom stylus. What expressive art tools are available that deemphasize precision work with your coordinated hand?"

Comment Re:Emacs org-mode (Score 1) 366

Cool, I actually used TiddlyWiki before I found org-mode :). It wasn't at all bad, but since I do everything else in Emacs, org-mode makes sense.

Plus, I use it for more than just organizing information. Like writing reports and authoring HTML and PDF content with embedded R code for example, which obviously is not the point of TW.

Org-mode is essentially to organizers as Emacs is to text editors, i.e., slowly becoming a platform of its own.

Comment Re:OrgMode (Score 2, Informative) 366

Two org-mode posts at the exact same minute :). The uses of org-mode are too numerous to mention in one post, but just to give a little more context... Org is essentially an outliner, event planner, calendar, PDF and HTML authoring system, multi-language code-authoring environment (babel), time tracker, shopping list maintainer, contact database, ...

All this and it's Free Software, too. The mailing list and community is one of the most responsive out there. I've heard many people say that learning emacs is worth it just for org-mode alone.

Check out http://orgmode.org/worg/org-tutorials/index.php for more use cases and tutorials/talks. Incredible piece of software, cannot recommend it enough.

Patents

Who Invented the Linux-Based Wireless Router? 154

mtaht writes "I've just had the interesting experience of being deposed to talk about one of the first embedded, Linux-based, wireless routers. Our (free!) 1998 publication of how to make one predates patent #7035281, filed September 13, 2000, by someone else. Their patent was recently granted and is now being disputed in court, in part using our how-to as an example of prior art. The lawsuit continues; the case goes before a judge shortly, and a jury trial if necessary is scheduled for the spring. I find myself plagued with the question: So... who invented the embedded Linux based wireless router? What relevance does 'who' have, when there is such an enormous confluence of ideas from thousands of people? What constitutes invention, anyway?"

Comment Re:Whatever Works For You (Score 1) 391

You sound like you'd benefit highly from Emacs org-mode (http://orgmode.org), which functions not only as a day planner and TODO manager, but a plain text authoring system. You can export to many targets, including both LaTeX and HTML. If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out, the community is great and the project is growing daily. The latest big inclusion is the ability to embed executable source code for literate programming.

The Internet

Bookmark Synchronizer Xmarks Hangs Up Their Hats 225

krulgar writes "On January 10, 2011, Xmarks will be closing their doors. A free service being replaced by free software. It would still be nice to have a single way to keep my bookmarks from my work machine in sync with my home machines and my mobile devices without exerting much effort. Xmarks seemed to be the only ones with that clear vision, maybe the replacement tools can grow into this space, but it's still a little sad to see a useful tool wave goodbye."
Censorship

When the Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones 506

An anonymous reader writes "With the Senate now looking to have the government block access to websites it deems to be bad (which seems to be called 'censorship' in other countries), it's worth pointing out that the Senate doesn't exactly have a good track record when it comes to deciding what technologies to ban. Back in 1930, some Senators came close to banning the dial telephone, because they felt that it was wrong that they had to do the labor themselves, rather than an operator at the other end."
Classic Games (Games)

Steve Wiebe is the King of Kong Again 127

Anyone who watched 'The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters' knows the epic struggle for global Kong dominance waged by Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell. Wiebe took back the crown by scoring 1,064,500-points which was officially verified. And if you haven't seen the movie, go watch it. You won't be sorry.
Transportation

Helicopter Crashes While Filming Autonomous Audi 218

telomerewhythere writes "A helicopter commissioned by Audi to film its autonomous Audi TT climbing Pikes Peak crashed early this morning. Four people on board were hurt, the pilot seriously. It's a surreal story — a manned vehicle crashes while the one climbing a mountain driven only by computers and sensors carries on. Here's more on the autonomous Audi, a project undertaken with the help of Stanford University."
IT

The Big Promise of 'Big Data' 78

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Frank Ohlhorst discusses how virtualization, commodity hardware, and 'Big Data' tools like Hadoop are enabling IT organizations to mine vast volumes of corporate and external data — a trend fueled increasingly by companies' desire to finally unlock critical insights from thus far largely untapped data stores. 'As costs fall and companies think of new ways to correlate data, Big Data analytics will become more commonplace, perhaps providing the growth mechanism for a small company to become a large one. Consider that Google, Yahoo, and Facebook were all once small companies that leveraged their data and understanding of the relationships in that data to grow significantly. It's no accident that many of the underpinnings of Big Data came from the methods these very businesses developed. But today, these methods are widely available through Hadoop and other tools for enterprises such as yours.'"

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