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Comment Interesting Q&A session with WikiLeaks founder (Score 4, Interesting) 438

An interesting question & answer chat with Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks was published (in English) by Dagens Nyheter, the biggest morning newspaper in Sweden, today.

It gives some insight into his thinking as well as the seriousness of their task — two of their contributors have already been assassinated.

Sci-Fi

Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic Screenshot-sm 615

Newly released secret files show that Winston Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber because he feared public panic. From the article: "Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect of the following: 'This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.'"
KDE

KDE SC 4.7 May Use OpenGL 3 For Compositing 187

An anonymous reader writes "KDE SC 4.5 is about to be released and KDE SC 4.6 is being discussed. However, Martin Graesslin has revealed some details about what they are planning for KDE 4.7. According to Martin's blog post, they are looking at OpenGL 3.0 to provide the compositing effects in KDE SC 4.7. OpenGL 3.0 provides support for frame buffer objects, hardware instancing, vertex array objects, and sRGB framebuffers."
Earth

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."

Comment Actually, here's how Commodore died (Score 1) 2

Commodore didn't die from external forces, it was killed by the mismanagement and greed of upper management.

You may want to watch Dave Haynie's two-hour video on the last days of Commodore, The Deathbed Vigil (free, full version online at Google Video). The film sums up the steps leading to the demise of the company very well. It is both funny (the anecdotes), sad (the surreal atmosphere of the smashing up of keyboards at night and the burning of the Mehdi Ali doll), as well as informative.

The submitter's claims that the Amiga didn't become a blockbuster and that Commodore would have died as a consequence are just plain wrong, though. Perhaps it was less successful in the U.S. than in Europe (I obviously remember it from the European perspective). There was even Amiga UNIX (System V Release 4) and it was great, beating every other UNIX vendor to the market. Sun Microsystems hoped to sell it as their low-end platform, but as usual, Commodore management killed the deal. See the film linked above for some more details on this and other projects that were engineering successes, but destroyed by the clueless upper management. It's no coincidence the speed bumps in the Commodore parking lot were painted with their names at night, in secret.

C= Failure n. See: Greed
—Dave Haynie

Google

Submission + - FFmpeg announces high-performance WebM decoder (multimedia.cx)

An anonymous reader writes: Three FFmpeg developers — Ronald Bultje, David Conrad, and x264 developer Jason Garrett-Glaser — have written the first independent free implementation of a VP8 video decoder. Benchmarks show that it's as much as 65% faster than Google's official libvpx. The announcement also gives a taste of what went into the development process and optimization techniques used. Currently it's only fully optimized on x86, but ARM and PowerPC optimizations are next in line for development.
Amiga

Submission + - The Amiga Turns 25 (technologizer.com) 2

harrymcc writes: Twenty-five years ago today, Commodore announced the Amiga--the first real multimedia computer, and the greatest cult computer of them all. It was launched with a demo by Andy Warhol and great expectations. But it never became a blockbuster and Commodore died in 1994. Still, the platform was amazing and influential, and it's never officially died. (The Amiga's current owner plans to release a new model later this year.) I was an Amiga fanatic in the 80s and early 90s, and took the anniversary as an opportunity to look back at its life and legacy.
The Military

Wikileaks Receiving Gestapo Treatment? 667

An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks announced on Mar 21 (via its twitter account) its intentions 'to reveal Pentagon murder-coverup at US National Press Club, Apr 5, 9am.' It appears that during the last 24 hours someone from the State Department/CIA decided to visit them, by 'following/photographing/filming/detaining' an editor for 22 hours. Apparently, the offending leak is a video footage of a US airstrike."
Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"
Government

US Intelligence Planned To Destroy WikiLeaks 555

An anonymous reader writes "This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN), 32-page US counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks (PDF). 'The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the US government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out.' It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses 'trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers,' the report recommends 'The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.' [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective.] As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that 'Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the Wikileaks.org website.' The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks — US equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable US violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay."
Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."
X

After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out 79

The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."
Piracy

Sony Joins the Offensive Against Pre-Owned Games 461

BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."
Microsoft

Microsoft To Get $100M Annual Tax Cut and Amnesty 406

reifman writes "Despite a $2.8 billion deficit, Washington State's House Bill 3176 would provide Microsoft with an effective $100 million tax cut annually and possible amnesty on its $1.27 billion Nevada tax maneuverings. Under current law, all of Microsoft's worldwide licensing revenues of approximately $20.7 billion annually are taxable at .484 percent. Under the new law, only the portion of software licenses sold to Washington state customers would be taxable. Ironically, after slashing Microsoft's tax burden, HB3176 directs the Department of Revenue to crack down on 'abusive tax transactions' like those in Nevada — except for a loophole that may provide Microsoft amnesty on its twelve year practice. The bill's lead sponsor is Ross Hunter of Medina, home to Bill Gates and a number of current and former Microsoft billionaires and multi-millionaires, and other areas around Microsoft's corporate campus."

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