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Novell

Submission + - Post-Novell Interview with Jeremy Allison

schestowitz writes: "Jeremy Allison of Samba Fame has recently left Novell in protest over the company's deal with Microsoft. BoycottNovell has had an interview with Jeremy — one that covers the events which preceded the deal, as well as the ways forward. From the interview: 'My guess is that the negotiations for the useful parts of the agreement (the virtualization part and the federated directory interoperability part) had, as Ron (Hovsepian) says, been going on for months and just before Novell wanted to seal the deal Microsoft turned up with "there's just this one more thing we want you to sign..." and in desperation to get the other parts of the deal done they rushed it through.'"
NASA

Submission + - NASA Needs Fake Moon Dust

crisco writes: "NASA's renewed interest in lunar exploration and "in situ resource utilization," or ISRU, is driving the need for tons of carefully faked lunar dust and sand for testing purposes:
"We don't have enough real moondust to go around," says Larry Taylor, director of Planetary Geosciences Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. To run all the tests, "we need to make a well-qualified lunar simulant." And not just a few bags will do. "We need tons of it, mainly for working on technologies for diggers and wheels and machinery on the surface," adds David S. McKay, chief scientist for astrobiology at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).
"
Programming

Submission + - The NSFW HTML Attribute

phaln writes: "Over at The Frosty Mug Revolution, PJ Doland makes a compelling case for a new HTML attribute in the spirit of the highly-regarded 'nofollow' attribute promoted by Google — the NSFW attribute (rel="nsfw")."
Space

Submission + - Space telescope to hunt for Earth-sized planets

TENxOXR writes: "The French-led Corot mission has taken off from Kazakhstan on a quest to find planets outside our Solar System. The space telescope will monitor about 120,000 stars for tiny dips in brightness that result from planets passing across their faces. The multinational mission will also study the stars directly to uncover more about their interior behaviour. The storey can be found over on the BBC News site ."
Toys

Submission + - Wired News 2006 Vaporware Awards

silentounce writes: "Wired News has released the winners of its 9th annual Wired News Vaporware Awards. I won't list any of them in the summary because I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise. They have some interesting entries, one that is more a concept of a product than an actual product. I'm not sure how you can claim something is vaporware if it hasn't even been given a specific name or a developer yet, but apparently they think they can. I don't quite agree with number four either but I guess they couldn't come up with anything better, or maybe I'm just really excited about its pending release. And as an added bonus, the list is only three pages!!!"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Jeremy Allison Has Resigned from Novell to Protest

walterbyrd writes: "From groklaw.net: The legendary Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) has resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, which he calls "a mistake" which will be "damaging to Novell's success in the future." His main issue with the deal, though, is "that even if it does not violate the letter of the licence, it violates the intent of the GPL licence the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally." He leaves the company at the end of this month. He explained why in a message sent to several Novell email lists, and the message included his letter to management:"
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Send a name to Mars for Christmas

space_elf writes: The Planetary Society has an interesting program just in time for Christmas, and just perfect for the persnickity someone in your life who seems to have everything. You can submit a name that will be written on a mini-disk and flown aboard the upcoming Phoenix mission to Mars. Included in the free (as in beer) service is a certificate to present to them as proof of their name going into space. Sorry folks, mothers-in-law are not allowed.
Google

Submission + - The Google Phone?

VE3OGG writes: "There has been ample hype over the last several years that Apple's iPhone was just around the corner, very much like their rumoured P D A. Well, while Apple fans continue to salivate at the thought of a phone powered by the company-of-cool, the index-everything-while-doing-no-evil company may be setting itself up to produce their own mobile phone."
Security

Submission + - Apple Patches Flaw That Lets Sites Photograph You

Gruber Duckie writes: Apple's security update 2006-008, posted yesterday, is a little more interesting than it sounds. According to information (and a demo!) posted at Macslash the "information leak" mentioned in Apple's advisory actually makes it possible for a web site to send whatever your (isight) web cam sees up to the server. I'm glad they fixed this quickly.
Sony

Submission + - Sony BMG settles over CD DRM

aurispector writes: Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5 million and kick in thousands more in customer refunds to settle lawsuits brought by California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden anti-piracy program on consumers' computers. The settlements, announced Tuesday, cover lawsuits over CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software — known as MediaMax or XCP. Although it's great to see this as a victory for consumers, I can't help but wonder about the next wave of DRM schemes. Here's the link to the yahoo news story from the AP — http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061219/ap_on_hi_te/so ny_bmg_copy_protection_7
Software

Submission + - Autodesk sues to keep AutoCAD file format closed

An anonymous reader writes: AutoCAD is by far the industry standard CAD tool for engineering drawings. When I was an engineering student it was on every computer in the college of engineering. Autodesk, the makers of the AutoCAD software, are attempting to quash an effort to reverse-engineer the proprietary binary format used by AutoCAD. Looking at the court order, their whole argument revolves around something called TrustedDWG that basically looks like a digital signature thst verifies the file was created by an Autodesk product.
Television

Submission + - David X. Cohen Interviewed on New Futurama

eldavojohn writes: "Toyfare has a short but exclusive interview with co-creator of Futurama David X. Cohen. There's a lot of information about how they plan to continue the series. He also reveals they're halfway through writing the new season and just starting animation. When asked about his favorite minor character of the show, Cohen responded "Hypnotoad. By the way, we are looking into producing a full 22-minute episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad for the DVD release. I am serious.""
Software

Submission + - VLC 0.8.6 Released

h2g2bob writes: "VideoLAN yesterday released a new version of VLC media player. From the blurb:
Building on feedback from the 29 million downloads of VLC media player 0.8.5, we bring you version 0.8.6 with many bugfixes, as well as a couple of new features we think you will truly enjoy. Most prominent are probably Windows Media Video 9 and Flash Video. Other important changes are improved H.264 decoding, better Windows Unicode support, a Fullscreen controller and Apple Remote support for Mac OS X.
A shout out also needs to go to ffmpeg for many of the codec improvements."

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