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Real Open Source Applications for Education? 185

openeducation writes "I have been researching open source solutions for K-12 education pretty heavily for the past year and have been disappointed to find no real alternatives to the large administrative applications like student information systems, data warehouse, ERP, etc. But recently, I ran across Open Solutions for Education. This group appears to be making a serious effort at creating a stack of open source applications that are alternatives to the large and costly commercial packages. Centre, an open source student information system that has been around for a while, is part of the solution stack. They have a data warehouse and are proposing an open source SIF alternative and an assessment solution. While the proof is in the pudding, these guys have working demos and they look pretty good for a first run. K-12 education is in dire financial straits and solutions like these could help with lower TCO. Plus, education is a collaborative industry already, which makes it a good fit for open source."

Submission + - Joost Signs on New Partners, Opens Up Invites

rm69990 writes: The new Joost internet television service, formerly known as the Venice Project, announced a handful of new content distribution agreements. In addition to previously-announced content deals with CBS and Viacom, Joost will also carry programming from CNN and other Turner Broadcasting System properties. Current beta users will also be able to invite anyone to sign up with Joost in advance of the service moving out of its beta phase later this month, as opposed to the old system where invites were sparse, much like the very early days of Gmail.
The Internet

Submission + - Digg.com down!

ljh83 writes: As 10,000's of diggers rebel against the populaur sute, digg.com went down for a brief period (timing out), and was replaced with a "we will be back shortly" message soon after.

A digg-insiders blog http://blog.digg.com/?p=74 talks about the recent digging of the HD-DVD keys, and gives us the situation from their point of view.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Ziggurat Con - The First War Zone Game Convention

Aeonite writes: "When President Bush ordered troops to Iraq, he probably never imagined that he would be ultimately be responsible for what very well could be the very first D&D convention/game day ever held in a war zone. Ziggurat Con, being held June 9 from 1200 to 2100 hours at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, is open to all allied military personnel and civilian contractors in Iraq."

Submission + - Seagate's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) hard drive

Doctor High writes: "Josh Kuo's article Seagate's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) hard drive talks about the pros and cons of using the new Momentus FDE notebook drives from Seagate. They feature hardware encryption of the entire drive, so it is an excellent security mechanism to prevent data loss in the event that the laptop itself is stolen. However, what about the inevitable lost passwords?"

Submission + - New solar cells that don't need direct sunlight

ultracool writes: New solar cells developed by researchers at the Nanomaterials Research Centre at Massey University in New Zealand don't need direct sunlight to operate and use a patented range of dyes that can be impregnated in roofs, window glass and eventually even clothing to produce power. Researchers at the centre have developed the dyes from simple organic compounds closely related to those found in nature, where light-harvesting pigments are used by plants for photosynthesis.

Feed Apple Still Can't Buy Beatles' Love (wired.com)

The long and winding road to DRM-free downloads from a major record label led this week to the door of The Beatles' label, EMI. To the disappointment of many, the deal between Apple and EMI won't include the long-awaited release of the Fab Four's catalog on the iTunes Music Store.

Feed EMI's Last-Ditch Effort: DRM-Free Music (wired.com)

In its deal with iTunes, EMI is planting a flag in the online music marketplace as the first major label to drop the DRM software restricting music copying. The company is gambling that music lovers won’t mind paying a little more - - $1.29 versus .99 - - for hassle-free, higher quality music files.

Feed Verizon rolling out G-PON technology to boost FiOS speeds (engadget.com)

Filed under: HDTV, Home Entertainment, Networking

In Verizon's never-ending quest to continue bumping the bandwidth to the four or five lucky customers that actually have access to its FTTH network, the firm is planning to implement a new technology which will hopefully increase the speed of FiOS fiber-to-the-premises links "by four to eight times." Of course we jest about the amount of you oh-so-fortunate ones that can actually get ahold of such speedy luxuries, but Verizon is looking to Alcatel-Lucent to help with the forthcoming gigabit passive optical network (G-PON), which is slated to "increase the aggregate broadband speeds on Verizon's FTTP systems by four times downstream to the customer, and by eight times upstream back to the Internet." The outfit also stated that it would "continue deploying the broadband passive optical network (B-PON)" that it has been using since 2004, and took a moment to boast about "how simple" upgrading FiOS actually was. Still, the vast majority of you won't even be in the general vicinity necessary to acquire the newfangled G-PON niceties, but the soon-to-be-celebrating town of Lewisville, Texas can keep an eye on Q2 of this year, while folks in Kirklyn, Pennsylvania should have it sometime "over the summer."

[Thanks, Jim V.]

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


A Mozilla Desktop Environment? 197

Andreas writes "A discussion at the mozilla.dev.planning list has given the birth to the idea of a Mozilla Desktop Environment. This sure sounds like a possibility for Mozilla as it already has many of the applications needed; and the company is thoroughly familiar with XUL, which is a more-than-potent language upon which to build a desktop environment. By building a desktop environment Mozilla wouldn't have to worry about drivers (and such) and could choose from a variety of kernels, and still be in the center of attention. Mozilla has to expand some of the applications for this to work, though, like adding local file management with Firefox."

Submission + - John W. Backus, 82, Fortran Developer, Dies

An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that John W. Backus died on Saturday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 82. In 1954 Backus assembled a team to define and develop Fortran for the IBM 704 computer. Though debatably not the first high-level programming language, it was the first to achieve wide use. He later worked on a "function-level" programming language known as FP which was described in his Turing Award lecture "Can Programming be Liberated from the von Neumann Style?" Sometimes viewed as Backus's apology for creating FORTRAN. He received the 1977 ACM Turing Award "for profound, influential, and lasting contributions to the design of practical high-level programming systems, notably through his work on FORTRAN, and for seminal publication of formal procedures for the specification of programming languages."

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