dotancohen writes: Oracle today announced the release of VirtualBox 4.0, only two weeks after the first 4.0 beta. It seems snappy, and has lots of features, despite controversy over which components are open source and which aren't. Oracle seems to be doing all right with their Sun acquisitions!
dotancohen writes: This morning all Lifehacker and other Gawker Media posters got an email: We've been hacked! Read the official "we store passwords in plaintext" excuse here and use this tool to check if your own username and password were compromised.
Oh nos, I use the same username/password combo here at./! Maybe this is a hacker posting as me?
dotancohen writes: As my hands wear I find that I need an ergonomic (split) keyboard. It seems that 98% of the available ergonomics are either crippled with dome-switches or have unusual designs which place many critical keys under the thumbs (I cannot use my right thumb). The one normal-appearing contender, the Northgate Ergonomic Evolution, seems to be noisier than even the Model M, in fact it echoes! Programmers and hobbyists geeky enough to be here today, what do you type on?
dotancohen writes: The Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events is looking for neutrinoless double-beta decay. However, even the minute amount of radioactivity in the lead used to shield the experiment is enough to introduce error into the experiments. That's why a 2000 year old shipwreck's lead cargo is so valuable to CUORE that they financed the vessel's salvage. With all the radioactive isotope lead-210 depleted, the ancient lead may provide both adequate shielding from external radiation and not introduce it's own.
dotancohen writes: Now that Oracle is reigning in Sun's business potential, the once-free-as-in-beer ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office is now $90. Oh, and it upsells a support contract and a Media Pack!
dotancohen writes: Should open source projects have any responsibility or commitment towards their users? Although FOSS projects certainly have no financial or legal responsibility to their users, is there a moral responsibility when users build their businesses and lifestyles around the software? What if the user invests his time filing and triaging bugs? What if the user contributes art, documentation, or helps other users in community forums and mailing lists?
What weight or arguments does a business have that, for instance, may have standardized on a project such as KDE-PIM and must suffer through releases with reduced functionality as the KDE4 growing pains affect that project? Must businesses that demand stable, mature software rely only on proprietary software and support contracts?
dotancohen writes: It appears that an Iranian nuclear power plant will be operational in about two month's time. Just in time for the Iranian New Year. As an Israeli, I am both happy for Iran that they are achieving energy independence (they can hardly refine their own oil), yet frightened by the threat of a nuclear-armed country who has repeatedly stated that we will be "wiped from the pages of time". Does the tinfoil hat go under or over the ABN mask?
dotancohen writes: I am performing research on email address harvesting patterns, especially from illegitimate websites. My biggest challenge was a surprising lack of places to sign up for spam! Assuming one _wants_ to receive illegal spam, how would one do it? To which websites must I provide an email address to be sent to the harvesters? I am using purpose-registered accounts at major webmail providers for the purpose.
Dotan Cohen writes: "Big brother is watching. When a Groningen teen surfed to the scene of his mugging in Google maps, he was surprised to find both the place and the time of his mugging. Score one for "do no evil"."
Dotan Cohen writes: "The Discovery website notes that 1-kilometer asteroid Apophis will narrowly miss the Earth in 2029 and will return in 2036, on an unknown orbit that may (or may not be) a collision course. This looks like a good article for getting people (and funds) interested in astronomy, if only for the potential doomsday scenario."
dotancohen writes: "An appropriately-named ship, the M/S Explorer, has crashed off the Antarctic coast and sunk. No injuries were reported. It might not be stuff that matters, but I'm sure the/. community can find the mother of puns in this one. Therefore, news for nerds!"