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Microsoft

de lcaza calls OOXML a "Superb Standard" 615

you-bet-it's-not-out-of-context writes "A blogger on KDE Developer's Journal has found an interesting post by Miguel de Icaza, the founder of GNOME and Mono, in a Google group dedicated to the discussion of his blog entries. Six days ago Miguel stated that 'OOXML is a superb standard and yet, it has been FUDed so badly by its competitors that serious people believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with it.' In the same post he says that to avoid patent problems over Silverlight, when using or developing Mono's implementation (known as Moonlight), i's best to 'get/download Moonlight from Novell which will include patent coverage.'"
The Internet

Spotlight on Facebook Groups Affects Microsoft 150

NewsCloud writes "After Slashdot reported Facebook Exposes Advertisers To Hate Speech, the company removed its F**k Islam group for a day (it's back up now). According to the New York Times, 'Facebook declined to comment on Friday on the subject of hate speech or on what steps had been taken.' It turns out that Microsoft is the digital advertising provider for Facebook serving up ads for companies such as NetFlix, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and Coca Cola. But for now, the Microsoft-served ads for all Facebook group home pages (even those complying with Facebook's Terms of Use) appear to have been taken off the site. For its part, NetFlix told me to address any concerns about its own ad placement along obscene speech with Facebook. T-Mobile said they would look into it."
Power

New Wonder Weed to Fuel Cars? 484

Hugh Pickens writes "Jatropha, an ugly, fast-growing and poisonous weed that has been used as a remedy for constipation, may someday power your car. The plant, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content that when crushed can be burned in a diesel car while the residue can be processed into biomass for power plants. Although jatropha has been used for decades by farmers in Africa as a living fence because its smell and taste repel grazing animals, the New York Times reports that jatropha may replace biofuels like ethanol that require large amounts of water, fertilizer, and energy, making their environmental benefits limited. Jatropha requires no pesticides, little water other than rain and no fertilizer beyond the nutrient-rich seed cake left after oil is pressed from its nuts. Poor farmers living close to the equator are planting jatropha on millions of acres spurred on by big oil companies like British Petroleum that are investing in jatropha cultivation."
Google

Google Sued Over Deceptive Search Results 246

biggles266 writes "Internet goliath Google claims to rank search results by relevance, but the search engine engages in deceptive conduct by selling off the top positions to commercial partners, a Sydney court has heard. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is taking world-first legal action in the Federal Court against Google Inc over allegedly deceptive conduct related to sponsored links on its websites. The ACCC has brought a two-pronged case against Trading Post and Google — including subsidiaries Google Australia and Google Ireland — for potentially misleading consumers. The consumer watchdog alleges Google does not do enough to differentiate "organic" search results — those ranked by relevance — from sponsored links which appear at the top of the results page."
Handhelds

Turned Off iPhone Gets $4800 Bill from AT&T 951

Tech.Luver writes "Jay Levy says he has been stung by Apple's iPhone pact with AT&T after he took an iPhone on a Mediterranean cruise. They didn't use their phones, but when they got back they had a 54-page monthly bill of nearly $4,800 from AT&T Wireless. The problem was that their three iPhones were racking up a bill for data charges using foreign phone charges. The iPhone regularly updates e-mail, even while it's off, so that all the messages will be available when the user turns it on. ""
PHP

PHP5 Vs. CakePHP Vs. RubyOnRails? 469

OldJavaHack writes "If you could start a website (with MySQL for persistence) from scratch and you had a choice of PHP5, CakePHP, or RubyOnRails — which would you choose and why? Things to consider in your decision: 1. Maturity of solution; 2. Features; 3. Size of community of skilled users (to build a team); 4. Complexity/ease of use (for neophytes to master); 5. Greatest strength of your choice, and the greatest weaknesses of the other two. Here is a comparison of capabilities."
Media

HD VMD Shows Up Late For the Format War 280

Fishead writes "As the fight heats up between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and as consumers seem to care less and less, a new contender has entered the fray. Next month, New Medium Enterprises will be selling a 1080p player through Amazon and stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150 — half what the cheapest HD DVD player costs, and a quarter the cost of a low-end Blu-ray. The difference this new HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format brings is that the discs are created with the same (cheap) red laser as DVDs. From the article: 'HD VMD discs, which hold up to 30GB on a single side, are encoded with a maximum bit rate of 40 megabits per second... between HD DVD's 36 Mpbs and Blu-ray's 48 Mbps. The format uses MPEG-2 and VC1 video formats to encode at 1080p resolution for the time being, and will possibly move to the H.264 format in the future.'"
Education

Alex the African Grey Parrot Dies 242

grrlscientist writes "Yesterday, I received the devastating news that Alex the African Grey parrot, who was both a study subject and colleague to Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly at 31 years of age. 'Even though Alex was a research animal, he was much more than that. This species of parrot generally lives to be 50-60 years old, so Alex was only middle-aged when he died. According to some reports I have read, it is possible that Alex might have succumbed to Aspergillosis, a fungal infection of the lungs that he has battled in the past. However, the cause of death will not be known until after a necropsy has been completed... Alex's veterinarian is returning from vacation to personally conduct this necrospy.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Police Busted When Tracking Device Found On Car 367

uh oh notes a story from Down Under where a police investigation came to a screeching halt as a man being investigated by the police found tracking devices in two of his cars, ripped them out, and listed them on an auction site. "Ralph Williams, of Cromwell, said he found the devices last week in his daughter's car, which he uses, and in his flatmate's car after the cars were seized by police and taken away for investigation."
AMD

AMD NDA Scandal 187

crazyeyes writes "Just two weeks ago, a Thai journalist walked out of the hush-hush AMD event in Singapore over a controversial NDA that required him to 'send any stories to the vendor before his newspaper can publish it.' AMD categorically denied it happened, but today, we not only have proof that it happened, we also have the sordid details of the entire affair. Here's a quote from the editorial: 'First off, the non-disclosure agreement covered everything confidential said or written over the next two years on the product, and had a duration of five years, during which anything published or used in marketing would have to receive written approval from AMD before it could be used. Worse, at the end of the five years, all copies of the information made would have to be returned to the chipmaker.'"
Power

New Legislation Proposed For Nuclear Safety 144

mdsolar writes "Recent problems at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant have spurred Congresspeople from Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to introduce legislation that would allow State governors to request independent safety reviews of nuclear power plants. The reviews would exclude NRC employees who usually work on that plant and include non-NRC reviewers. This review model is based on one that found problems at Maine Yankee before it closed. Problems at Vermont Yankee have included a cooling tower collapse, a SCRAM caused by an un-greased valve, and failure of a safety system during the SCRAM. The plant is coming off of heightened review after shipping nuclear material with insufficient shielding. The plant's application for a 20 year license extension is also currently under review."
Censorship

Libraries Defend Open Access 116

aisaac writes "Earlier this year an article in Nature (PDF, subscription required) exposed publishers' plans to equate public access to federally funded research with government censorship and the destruction of peer review. In an open letter last month, Rockefeller University Press castigated the publishers' sock-puppet outfit, PRISM, for using distorting rhetoric in a coordinated PR attack on open access. Now the Association of Research Libraries has released an Issue Brief addressing this PR campaign in more detail. The Issue Brief exposes some of the distortions used to persuade key policy makers that recent gains made by open access scientific publishing pose a danger to peer reviewed scientific research, free markets, and possibly the future of western civilization. As an example of what the publishers backing PRISM hate, consider the wonderfully successful grants policy of the National Institutes of Health, which requires papers based on grant-funded research to be published in PubMed Central."
Data Storage

Toshiba Boosts Hard Drive Density By 50% 129

An anonymous reader writes "Toshiba has unveiled a ground-breaking technology that boosts recording density by 50% on an 80-GB, 1.8", single-platter drive. Using what it calls Discrete Track Recording technology, Toshiba was able to pack 120 GB storage on a single 1.8" platter. The new development will hugely benefit media player, UMPC, and ultra-portable laptop segments where 1.8" drives with maximum possible capacity are in great demand."
The Internet

NTP Pool Reaches 1000 Servers, Needs More 230

hgerstung writes "This weekend the NTP Pool Project reached the milestone of 1000 servers in the pool. That means that in less than two years the number of servers has doubled. This is happy news, but the 'time backbone' of the Internet, provided for free by volunteers operating NTP servers, requires still more servers in order to cope with the demand. Millions of users are synchronizing their PC's system clock from the pool and a number of popular Linux distributions are using the NTP pool servers as a time source in their default ntp configuration. If you have a static IP address and your PC is always connected to the Internet, please consider joining the pool. Bandwidth is not an issue and you will barely notice the extra load on your machine."

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