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Education

Submission + - Global Warming Only a Theory, Says School Board

BendingSpoons writes: "A Seattle school board has placed a moratorium on screenings of "An Inconvenient Truth", having found its subject matter too controversial. Echoing the language of the evolution debate, the school board found that students must be told that global warming is only a theory and presented with an opposing viewpoint. The ban was prompted by the complaints of a parent: "'Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher,' said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. 'The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD.'""
Programming

Father of Instant Ramen Passes Away 195

Chained Fei writes "Ando Momofuku, Father of the Instant Ramen, passed away on January 5th at the age of 96. He concocted the idea for Instant Ramen after WWII, hoping to reduce the amount of poor nourishment for soldiers in the field. If not for this great man, many a poor college student and programmer would have starved over the years. From the article: 'In 1971, Nissin introduced the Cup Noodle featuring instant ramen in a waterproof plastic foam container. Dubbed the "Ramen King," Ando is credited with expanding Nissin into the No. 1 company in the industry and was well-known for his dedication to his work ... In 1999, Ando opened the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, after installing his second son, Koki, as president of the company.'"

Looking Beyond Vista To Fiji and Vienna 600

Vinit wrote in with an article that describes Microsoft's strategy for future versions of Windows. It begins: "As we all know that Microsoft Vista was originally scheduled to be released in 2003, after two years of Windows XP, but it got delayed by over five years due to various reasons. Definitely, Vista is very very improved OS over the previous versions, but the delayed in the launch has cost Microsoft, billions of dollars. Now the question at the moment is, what exactly after Vista? Microsoft can't afford to wait another five years for an operating system. People are becoming more aware of the choices they have, and Linux is no longer a hobbyist OS, and that day isn't far away when it becomes simple enough to be a viable alternative to Windows. The competition is fierce. That is why, to stay at the top, Microsoft has planned a 'Vista R2', codenamed 'Fiji' which will be released some time in 2008. And after Fiji, there will be Windows 'Vienna'. Windows Fiji, will not be a totally different OS from Vista; but it will be an add-on. Whereas Vienna will be totally different from Vista."

GoogleOS Scenarios 224

ReadWriteWeb writes "Read/WriteWeb offers 3 scenarios for a GoogleOS and suggests it could be less than 6 months away. They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS. They predict that once Microsoft's Vista rolls out, it will present a direct threat to Google's Web properties and so therefore Google will start a more punchy strategy — pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS in order to nullify Vista's potential impact."

Microsoft Considers Pulling Out of China 443

icefaerie writes to let us know that a senior executive for Microsoft has said the firm could pull out of non-democratic countries such as China. From the article: "Fred Tipson, senior policy counsel for the computer giant, said concerns over the repressive regime might force it to reconsider its business in China. 'Things are getting bad... and perhaps we have to look again at our presence there,' he told a conference in Athens."

Power, Water and Refrigeration in One Box 148

Roland Piquepaille writes "Engineers at the University of Florida have developed and built a system that can provide power, water and refrigeration from a single unit. This project, funded by the U.S. Army, will lead to units small enough to fit inside a military jet or a large truck. The prototype system is already more efficient than conventional turbines. And it is also environmentally friendly because it can use traditional fossil fuels as well as biomass-produced fuels or hydrogen and releases only small amounts of pollutants. This kind of system could be used as a mobile unit in case of hurricanes or wars. But it might also be connected to the normal power grid in fixed locations."

SCO Stock Continues Downward Spiral 186

tobiasly writes "TechNewsWorld reports that three and a half years after SCO saw its stock price increase tenfold to US$20.50 following the filing of its lawsuit against IBM, it closed Tuesday at US$2.28 per share, or two cents less than where it was before the lawsuit. This follows a sustained slide fed by poor earnings results and courthouse reversals which, according to OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen, shows that 'Linux and open source software are bigger than any one company. Linux has won in the courts and is winning in the marketplace.'"

Text Mining the New York Times 104

Roland Piquepaille writes "Text mining is a computer technique to extract useful information from unstructured text. And it's a difficult task. But now, using a relatively new method named topic modeling, computer scientists from University of California, Irvine (UCI), have analyzed 330,000 stories published by the New York Times between 2000 and 2002 in just a few hours. They were able to automatically isolate topics such as the Tour de France, prices of apartments in Brooklyn or dinosaur bones. This technique could soon be used not only by homeland security experts or librarians, but also by physicians, lawyers, real estate people, and even by yourself. Read more for additional details and a graph showing how the researchers discovered links between topics and people."

AMD Slashing Prices Still Not Enough? 159

PeterN writes to tell us that after hearing the announcement that AMD was slashing prices on their processors by 47%, TG Daily looked a bit deeper and found that it still might not be enough. From the article: "For AMD's planned price drop for its dual-core processors to enable the company to regain its aggressive price/performance competitive position against Intel as it has promised, the company would have to reduce its existing Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon FX prices by between 38% and 56% for its various models, with cuts averaging about 51%. This estimate is based on a comprehensive price/performance review of Intel's soon-to-be-released Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Duo processors, along with its existing Pentium D dual-core line, pitted against AMD's FX-62, FX-60, and Athlon 64 X2 processors in Tom's Hardware Guide tests."

Microsoft's 12-Step Program 169

NevarMore writes to tell us eWeek is reporting that Microsoft, after almost 30 years of Windows, now has 12 philosophical tenets outlining Windows development. From the article: "Smith said the principles largely come from things Microsoft picked up in the consent decree the software giant signed in settling its landmark antitrust battle with the federal government, but that more recent developments led to the crafting of some of the other principles. The 12 principles are based on three main areas: choice for computer manufacturers and customers, opportunities for developers, and interoperability for users, Smith said."

Anna Konda, the Robotic Firefighter 94

Roland Piquepaille writes "In fact, Anna Konda is a robotic fire hose moving like a snake. This robot, which has been developed in Norway by SINTEF, is 3 m long and weighs 70 kg. The snake contains 20 water hydraulic motors that move the robotic joints. And the energy needed to power these motors comes from water pressurized to 100 bars and already available inside the fire hose. This gives enough energy to this water-powered robot to climb up stairs, to lift a car up off the ground or even break through a wall. Very clever design! The designers think that this robot could not only replace humans to fight fires when it's too dangerous for them, but could also be used for subsea operations or explosion prevention. An additional overview contains more details and pictures of this snake robot."

Intel Stepping Up to Combat AMD's 4x4 202

Grooves writes "Intel has said that the company is stepping up the pace of its Core 2 architecture rollout to compete with AMD's 4x4. Two "quad-core" parts originally slated for release in the first half of 2007, Kentsfield for the desktop and Clovertown for servers, will make their debut as early as the end of this year. The Ars article warns that per-core bandwidth problems could end up giving a performance advantage to AMD's 4x4 approach."

Microsoft Hit With 280m Euro Fine 527

Craig Mason writes "The BBC Reports that "Microsoft has been fined 280.5m euros ($357m; £194m) by the European Commission for failing to comply with an anti-competition ruling. The software giant was hit by the fine following a long-running dispute between the US firm and EU regulators. The move follows a landmark EU ruling in 2004, which ordered Microsoft to provide rivals with information about its Windows operating system. EU regulators also warned Microsoft it could face new fines of 3m euros a day.""

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