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KDE

KDE 4.5 Released 302

An anonymous reader writes "KDE 4.5.0 has been released to the world. See the release announcement for details. Highlights include a Webkit browser rendering option for Konqueror, a new caching mechanism for a faster experience and a re-worked notification system. Another new feature is Perl bindings, in addition to Python, Ruby and JavaScript support. The Phonon multimedia library now integrates with PulseAudio. See this interview with KDE developer and spokesperson Sebastian Kugler on how KDE can continue to be innovative in the KDE4 age. Packages should be available for most Linux distributions in the coming days. More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4."
Linux Business

SoftMaker Office 2010 For Linux Nearing Release 110

martin-k writes "SoftMaker Office is a Microsoft-compatible office suite that competes with OpenOffice.org. Its creator, German software publisher SoftMaker, is nearing completion of the latest release, SoftMaker Office 2010 for Linux. This new release offers document tabs, high-quality filters for the Microsoft Office 2007 file formats DOCX and XLSX, and presentation-quality charts in the spreadsheet. It also brings integration into KDE and Gnome, using the system's colors and fonts. A release candidate is available as a free download."
Bug

Outlook 2010 Bug Creates Monster Email Files 126

Julie188 writes with this snippet from Network World "Office 2010 is still in beta and a patch is already out. Microsoft is trying to fix a bug in the email program Outlook 2010 Beta that creates unusually large e-mail files that take up too much space. The Outlook product team has offered a bug fix for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems that fixes the problem going forward, although previous emails will remain super-sized. This could be a problem for email programs that limit message sizes, such as Gmail or BlackBerry."
Idle

Hand Written Clock 86

a3buster writes "This clock does not actually have a man inside, but a flatscreen that plays a 24-hour loop of this video by the artist watching his own clock somewhere and painstakingly erasing and re-writing each minute. This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009."
Science

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"
Programming

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."

Submission + - Best Social Network For Geeks?

base65_encoded writes: By nature we geeks are not terribly social creatures and tend to stay away for social networks and the like unless there is something intellectually compelling for us. The flurry of status updates, quiz results, and photo albums that are the norm on sites like Facebook and MySpace tend to turn our stomachs. Outside of keeping in contact with old friends and/or family (Facebook's specialty), or chechecking out new bands (MySpace). What social network out there (if any) caters to the geek mindset of high-minded conversation on topics of interest to us?

I began with that premise (and a list of social networking sites and did mini reviews of a few old school sites (Facebook, MySpace, Orkut), specialized sites (last.fm, imeem) and a few up-and-comers (Jaiku, Advogato, Simler). Read on for my analysis.

Facebook: Primarily used or reconnecting with friends, family and colleagues. High signal-to-noise ratio.

MySpace: Hideously ugly layouts. Nearly impossible to find relevant information. Considered an also-ran by most social networking 'mavens'.

Orkut: Nice, clean user interface but mostly only popular in Brazil and parts of Asia. I had a hard time finding things that interested me on Orkut.

Last.fm/Imeem: I am lumping these together since they both focus on music discovery. While their topic may not have a whole lot to do with geeks (other than they fact that most of us really enjoy music), the way that they specialize in a topic and allow you to find other, related information is a breath of fresh air. I am a rather avid last.fm user.

Jaiku: A kind of Facebook meets Twitter meets Friend Feed venture from Google. I really like the concept of Jaiku but the homepage shows a list of recent activity and the last time I looked it was all from one guy pimping airline tickets. I may give Jaiku another shot when they clean up their spam problem.

Advogato: It may be a stretch to call Advogato a 'social network'; it is really more of a bulletin board for techies. All of the normal OSS and Free Software suspects can be found here. I found it to be gratifying on an intellectual level but didn't do much for me on the social level. I do recommend that you check this out though if you like to discuss technical stuff with some very learned people.

Simler: I just came across this site and am currently rather addicted. It is a social networking site whose focus is on the discussion of ideas (called 'tags') and not a whole lot of emphasis on the friends aspect. The concept is that by joining tags and commenting on them you can begin to find people who are similar to you. I can't do a very good job of explaining it, but here is the article that got me interested in the first place.

In summary, I don't think that there is a one-size-fits-all social network for geeks but with a combination of sites like Facebook, Advogato and Simler we can get what we need out of them.

What social networks do you recommend for geeks?
Education

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."

Comment Re:Poor guy... (Score 1) 514

I had an office in the Hanzomon area of Tokyo that had a deck that looked across the street into an engineering firm. Yes, the workers were there from 8AM-6 or 7PM every single day (including the ubiquitous half-day Saturdays). HOWEVER... 9 times out of ten when I went out on the deck to smoke a good portion of them were staring into space, slumped in their chairs, or outright napping. Sure, they worked long hours but I highly doubt they were any more productive than workers nearly anywhere else in the world. That's not to say the Japanese are not industrious... rather that the image of the busy-bee worker putting in long hours is more important than the actual output.

Comment Re:Worse is better (Score 1) 169

My favorite fucked up PHPism has always been:

$space_var='THIS IS A STUPID VARIABLE WITH SPACES IN ITS NAME';
$$space_var = "this is some content";
print $$space_var;
print_r($GLOBALS);

Which puts a nice variable named $"THIS IS A STUPID VARIABLE WITH SPACES IN ITS NAME" into your global namespace.

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