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Software

Submission + - Alfresco drops GPL and chooses LGPL (ostatic.com)

ruphus13 writes: First there was an Mozilla Public License-inspired custom license, then GPL, and now Alfresco has decided that the license that makes the most sense is the LGPL, which is deemed as being more 'commercially friendly'. From the post, "Alfresco is switching licenses, again. This time the company is switching the license for its enterprise content management system to the GNU LGPL, away from the GNU GPL. Alfresco's switch is possible because the company requires a contributor agreement to accept code into its repository. The agreement requires that contributors give Alfresco the ability to re-license the code in any way it sees fit...The advantage afforded by the LGPL, at least from Alfresco's perspective, is that it's more commercially friendly while still requiring changes to the core code to be contributed back. It can be combined with proprietary software, but if the code from Alfresco is changed and distributed, those changes must also be licensed under the LGPL."
Medicine

Submission + - New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Sonitus Medical has developed a new device, SoundBite, that uses the natural conduction of teeth and bone to transmit sound to the inner ear even after the outer and middle ear are damaged. SoundBite detects noise using a microphone placed in the ear connected to a transmitter in a behind-the-ear (BTE) device. The BTE transmits to an in-the-mouth (ITM) device that sends small sound waves through the jaw to the cochlea. There is no surgery needed, and both the BTE and ITM are easily removed to be charged inductively.
Hardware

Submission + - Super Strong Metal Foam May Save Energy and Lives (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Metal foams have been around for some time, but new research by Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei of North Carolina State University has revealed the strongest metal foam ever. It can compress up to 80% of its original size under loading and still retain its original shape. Applications for the new material are numerous — naturally, it could be integrated into the bodies of cars to minimize the impact from crashes, but it could also be used for body armor or even in artificial limbs. It’s even foreseeable that the metal foam could be used in buildings and help absorb shocks from earthquakes.

Comment Re:I wouldn't want a HTML5 only Web now (Score 1, Interesting) 265

BTW; if you are concerned about Flash CPU usage, use 10.1 beta which has GPU decoding under Windows.

Great, so if I want decent performance out of one of the most popular internet video services, I am tied to Windows. Yuck.

I think even Microsoft has seen the writing on the wall for Flash. However, if you no longer need Flash to view videos on the web that's just one more reason why you don't need Windows. Luckily for us, Microsoft wants all of us to replace the horrible Flash with the new and improved Microsoft Silverlight. :p

Thanks, but no thanks. I'm one of the ones hoping for HTML5 video to take off.

Comment Re:It's not a search engine (Score 1) 463

It's true that Microsoft gave Apple an infusion of cash and guaranteed software support for the Mac platform just when it needed it most, but Microsoft was not doing it to be benevolent. It was just beginning to defend itself from the accusations of being a monopoly and needed a "harmless" alternative to the Windows ecosystem they could point to. At the time, Microsoft needed Apple to survive.

Microsoft never thought in a million years thought Apple could ever be a serious competitor to their core business. After all, Microsoft's main business was selling software to computer manufacturers, while Apple sold consumer computer systems directly to a limited subset of consumers. To Microsoft, Apple's competitors seemed to be the likes of IBM, Dell, Gateway, Compaq, HP, Packard Bell, etc., all of which purchased their software from Microsoft. With an over 90% market share, Microsoft didn't seem to have anything to worry about from the "beleaguered" Apple.

Fast forward about a decade and a half. The internet has exploded and become the primary way people get and store information. For the first time in computer history, you are less tied to a specific application written by a specific company to access information. As a result, Apple's computer market share is over 10% for the first time since 1994. More and more people are even using non-PC devices to access information. In the exploding smart phone market, Microsoft is now in third place behind Research In Motion and Apple. And with Google now throwing its hat into the smart phone market ring there is even more competition in that sector.

Microsoft is competing with Apple the mobile music device market, and losing. Microsoft is competing with Nintendo and Sony in the home video game market, and losing. Microsoft is competing with RIM and Apple in the smart phone operating system market and losing. Microsoft is losing on a lot of fronts.

Sure, Microsoft is winning is in PC operating systems and PC business software. But as more and more people realize that they don't need a PC with Microsoft software to access and process their information, that market will become less and less important and will lose "share" to seemingly unrelated market areas.

Make no mistake, Apple and Microsoft and Google and Sony and a litany of other technology companies are direct competitors in the, as yet, undefined "electronic information access" market.

As much as the iPhone is locked down, Apple still seems to remember that it is damned near impossible to make a successful computer systems or information access devices without successful third party support. And it gets real complicated when your third parties are also your competitors. Which competitor should Apple help gain a foothold in a market they are nearly dominating? Microsoft? Google? Of course, the simple answer is neither, but that just would hurt Apple in the long run.

Now that we are emerging from the dark ages of the Microsoft monopoly of computer tech, we are headed into very interesting times indeed.

Security

Submission + - Suspected hackers arrested for Zbot/Zeus Trojan (sophos.com)

Unexpof writes: According to a report by British security company Sophos, a man and a woman have been arrested in Manchester, England, by the Metropolitan Police in connection with the Zeus Trojan (also known as Zbot).

The Zbot Trojan, which steals bank account and social networking login details, creates a botnet of compromised computers. According to Sophos, the gang behind the Zbot attacks have used a wide variety of social engineering disguises to spread their malware — including posing as statements from the IRS or notifications that a server upgrade is about to take place.

The names of the two people arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the 2006 Fraud Act have not been released, but it is known that the man is 20 years old.

Comment Summary of article... (Score 2, Informative) 103

Browser             OS                              Version Tested        Javascript Benchmark  Acid3 Result  Flash
-------             --                              --------------        --------------------  ------------  -----
Skyfire             Windows Mobile and Symbian S60  1.1.0.12052 on WinMo  14,659 ms              52/100        Yes
Opera Mobile        Windows Mobile and Symbian S60  9.7 beta              40,249.20 ms          100/100        No
Fennec              Windows Mobile or Maemo         1.0a3 on WinMo        11,391.20 ms           93/100        No
Safari              iPhone                          OS version 3.1.2      15,499.20 ms          100/100        No
Internet Explorer   Windows Mobile                  7                     74,537.60 ms            5/100        Yes
BlackBerry browser  BlackBerry                      OS version 4.6.1.199  Did not finish         13/100        No

[Skyfire]: Uses server to render pages. Web sites looked accurate but heavily compressed. Flash videos jerky, out of sync and will not open in full screen.
[Opera Mobile]: Can easily open multiple pages and switch between them.
[Fennec] (a.k.a Firefox Mobile): Slick interface. Fastest at loading complex pages. Clearly a pre-release product.
[Safari]: Multiple pages won't load simultaneously. User interface is serene and easy to use.
[Internet Explorer]: Slowest overall browser. Handled Flash the best of those tested. Flash videos can be opened full screen but become jerky and out of sync.
[BlackBerry browser]: Browser doesn't come close to a full Web experience. Slowest at loading complex pages.

Comment Re:Software? (Score 1) 549

Or you can use Mac OS X's (incomplete and officially unsupported) Resolution Independence to scale the entire GUI. If you want your interface to be 25% larger than normal, open up a Terminal and enter:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.25

To get it back to normal, just enter:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.00
defaults delete NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor

Comment Re:I'm grateful (Score 4, Insightful) 391

[Photoshop] certainly is an extremely useful tool and can't be banned outright, however, they could impose very clear limits on retouching photos of people.

Who is "they" and how would they impose these arbitrary limits on photo retouching?

The problem isn't necessarily with the advertising agencies who are trying their best to fool us that their client/product is "better" than they actually are. That's what they've always done and that is what they will continue to do.

The problem is with the increasing number of people in our society who lack critical thinking skills and don't question what is presented to them.

What's nefarious about this particular DMCA take down notice is that its only purpose is to squelch critical opinion on advertising techniques. (It is also just another example of how the DMCA has little to do with copyright protection and is more about handing over control of our culture to the media companies).

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 555

Your logic would be spot on if Microsoft's Mac offering were indeed direct ports of their Windows counterparts. But they are not.

One of the major reasons the MBU exists is because of the horribly ill-fated idea of throwing out the Mac-native Word for Mac 5.0/5.1 and using the Word for Windows 2.0/3.0 codebase to come up with Word 6.0 for both Mac and Windows. (You can read details of this debacle directly from a MBU employee).

The majority of Microsoft's Mac products are complete re-implementations of the features in their Windows counterparts (and the reason why there is not complete feature-parity between the two versions).

I think the reason that the MBU has such high profit margins is that are fewer "cooks in the kitchen" relative to Microsoft's Windows-related projects. It's a small group of dedicated employees who are in the unenviable position of trying to make great Mac software while being viewed by some on the outside as just more drones from the evil Windows empire.

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