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Operating Systems

Submission + - Linux KVM Virtualization Performance

An anonymous reader writes: The Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine is one of the features that will be introduced with the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. KVM (unlike Xen in para-virtualization mode) supports full virtualization on supported Intel and AMD processors so it does not require any modifications to the guest operating system. KVM also supports running Microsoft Windows XP 32-bit "out of the box". Phoronix has taken a look at the Linux virtualization performance as they compare the Kernel-based Virtual Machine to Xen 3.0.3 and QEMU with its binary-only kqemu accelerator.

Submission + - Geminid explosions on moon visible by amateurs

saskboy writes: "The ET scanning project SETI@Home was wildly popular, and the mock project Yeti@Home much less so, but soon there will be a chance for the enthusiastic amateur astronomer to combine those respective scanning techniques and spot explosions on the moon with simple telescope and camera equipment at home.
"On Dec. 14, 2006, we observed at least five Geminid meteors hitting the Moon," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. Each impact caused an explosion ranging in power from 50 to 125 lbs of TNT and a flash of light as bright as a 7th-to-9th magnitude star. "The amazing thing is," says Cooke, "we've [caught explosions] using a pair of ordinary backyard telescopes, 14-inch, and off-the-shelf CCD cameras. Amateur astronomers could be recording these explosions, too."
NASA will "soon release data reduction software developed specifically for amateur and professional astronomers wishing to do this type of work. The software runs on an ordinary PC equipped with a digital video card. 'If you have caught a lunar meteor on tape, this program can find it.'""

Submission + - David Harris Drops Pegasus Mail

icebike writes: David Harris, the New Zealand developer of Pegasus Mail has announced he's calling it quits. The Pegasus Email client and Mercury Email server which have been under active development since the 80s have seen their last release.

Aways a secure product (on a scale of one to Outlook) Pegasus had a faithful following world wide, but a small share, and insufficient funding for it to continue.

From the announcement page at David announces
  "It has been a privilege to be of service to the Internet Community for such a long period of time — I am only sorry that I am not able to continue doing so."

Always a class act, Harris gave away Pegasus. If you wanted to help fund the development you could buy manuals. His product did not contain any annoying advertising, and handled Pop and Imap elegantly with a simple clear interface.

Submission + - ExxonMobile paid groups to dispute Global Warming

maartynp writes: From the AP via Yahoo news The Union of Concerned Scientists reports Exxon paid millions to dozens of groups to discredit the science behind Global Warming and to create the appearance of real debate about whether or not Gobal Warming was real and perceptible.

Essentially Exxon-Mobile adopted the tactics used by the tobacco industry of dissemination of disinformation to create uncertainty.

Submission + - a marketplace for UCE?

An anonymous reader writes: I received a piece of unsolicited commercial email from a major hosted service provider. I called the provider and found that they had obtained my contact information from I contacted Jigsaw and asked to be removed from their database — only to be told that all of their contact information was user submitted and that I could not opt-out of receiving further UCE from their members. I could remove my email address from their database if I wanted, but their support staff warned that anyone else could add me back in.

It seems like the whole business model is centered around selling out your business contacts in exchange for free or discounted access to other people's contacts.'s customer service person claimed that they prohibited using their site for spam/UCE, but could not see any difference between "cold-calling" (what they actively suggest using the service for) and spam/UCE. Has anyone else had related issues with this company?

Submission + - Google using algorithm to search for Talent

lp60068 writes: From New York Times — " Google has always wanted to hire people with straight-A report cards and double 800s on their SATs. Now, like an Ivy League school, it is starting to look for more well-rounded candidates, like those who have published books or started their own clubs." It seems they realized that the best employees don't necessarily have doctorates.

Submission + - Setting Up a Distributed Email Server

An anonymous reader writes: My boss has recently asked me to find out about creating a distributed email distribution system to distribute marketing materials globally. We intend to send about 300 million emails every day. Obviously, we're going to need a lot of bandwidth. But my worry is that our IP addresses are going to get black listed by SPAMHaus and the like very quickly.

The current proposal includes using a dozen servers powered by AMD processors, with one of them acting as an "email pool" from which the others request a new batch of addresses. They will all be running Debian GNU/Linux. The tricky part is the networking — ideally we'd want to use something like Tor. As it stands, the plan is to use multiple T3's, but again, we're worried about our static IPs getting black listed.

Have any of you set up a distributed email distribution system before? How much hardware did you throw at the problem? How did you circumvent blacklisting? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Submission + - NASA Needs Fake Moon Dust

crisco writes: "NASA's renewed interest in lunar exploration and "in situ resource utilization," or ISRU, is driving the need for tons of carefully faked lunar dust and sand for testing purposes:
"We don't have enough real moondust to go around," says Larry Taylor, director of Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. To run all the tests, "we need to make a well-qualified lunar simulant." And not just a few bags will do. "We need tons of it, mainly for working on technologies for diggers and wheels and machinery on the surface," adds David S. McKay, chief scientist for astrobiology at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

Submission + - iPod Generation Indifferent to Space Exploration

An anonymous reader writes: CNN tells us that today's young adults are no longer excited at the possibility of space exploration: "The 2004 and 2006 surveys by Dittmar Associates Inc. revealed high levels of indifference among 18- to 25-year-olds toward manned trips to the moon and Mars." As a result, NASA's budget will include a greater amount of public relations spending. We'll have to wait for Netcraft to confirm that NASA is dying.
The Internet

Submission + - Taiwan Earthquake Disrupts Virtual Currency Market

miller60 writes: "Telecommunications outages from Tuesday's earthquake in near Taiwan have disrupted the market for virtual currency from MMORPGs, with market leader IGE and other major online sellers reporting inventory and delivery problems. The market for the real money trading of game assets is highly dependent upon suppliers operating "gold farms" in China and other Asian countries. With Internet access from Asia limited, these suppliers are apparently having trouble logging into games to make deliveries of gold and accounts. Online markets for the sale of game assets have grown in recent years, despite heated debates about the practice among gamers."

Submission + - The NSFW HTML Attribute

phaln writes: "Over at The Frosty Mug Revolution, PJ Doland makes a compelling case for a new HTML attribute in the spirit of the highly-regarded 'nofollow' attribute promoted by Google — the NSFW attribute (rel="nsfw")."

Submission + - Vaccine for flu to be tested on humans

Adam9 writes: British scientists are on the verge of producing a revolutionary flu vaccine that works against all major types of the disease. Described as the 'holy grail' of flu vaccines, it would protect against all strains of influenza A — the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu. Just a couple of injections could give long-lasting immunity — unlike the current vaccine which has to be given every year.

Journal Journal: [programming] Is Hibernate Worth It? 7

I've got into a little debate/argument with a former boss over how to code up a new Java web application. I suggested looking into Hibernate (which I know very little about) to ease up on the developers. He thought we should take control of writing the SQL because there might be too much overhead. Does Hibernate, or any relational mapping library, cause enough slow downs to resort to writing SQL? Is Hibernate really going to make my database and application that much easier to maintain?

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