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A Flood of Stable Linux Kernels Released 105

Julie188 writes "Greg Kroah-Hartman has released five new stable Linux kernels, correcting minor errors of their predecessors and including improvements which are unlikely to generate new errors. As so often with kernel versions in the stable series, it remains undisclosed if the new versions contain changes which fix security vulnerabilities, although the number of changes and some of the descriptions of those changes certainly suggest that all the new versions contain security fixes."

Google Preparing iPad Rival? 397

dazedNconfuzed noted an update in the ongoing rumor train about the Google iPad Competitor. It would be based on Android (not ChromeOS) and supposedly Eric Schmidt was telling people about it at a party in LA recently. If any Googlers want to leak me s3cr3t information, I promise anonymity, though without an actual product, price or date it's tough to get really excited. But the iPad clearly has significant limitations that someone else can capitalize on.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music 261

mbone writes "Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga? Whether you do or not [I'm guessing not], you may be about to find out. Writing for Wired, Eliot Van Buskirk describes North Carolina's Zenph Sound Innovations, which takes existing recordings of musicians (deceased, for now) and models their 'musical personalities' to create new recordings, apparently to critical acclaim (PDF). The company has raised $10.7 million in funding to pursue their business plan, and hopes to branch out into, among other things, software that would let musicians jam with virtual versions of famous musicians. This work unites music with the very similar trend going on in the movies — Tron 2.0, for example, will clone the young Jeff Bridges. If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors? In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists."

Losing Google Would Hit Chinese Science Hard 161

An anonymous reader writes to share recent statements by Chinese scientists that indicate troubled waters ahead if Google were to pull out of China. "More than three-quarters of scientists in China use the search engine Google as a primary research tool and say their work would be significantly hampered if they were to lose it, a survey showed on Wednesday. In the survey, 84 percent said losing Google would 'somewhat or significantly' hamper their research and 78 percent said international collaborations would be affected. 'Research without Google would be like life without electricity,' one Chinese scientist said in the survey, which asked more than 700 scientists for their views."

Key Letter By Descartes Found After 170 Years 165

Schiphol writes of a long-lost letter by René Descartes to Marin Mersenne that has come to light at Haverford College, in Pennsylvania, where it had lain buried in the archives for more than a century. The discovery could revolutionize our view of one of the 17th-century French philosopher's major works. "[T]housands of treasured documents... vanished from the Institut de France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them were 72 letters by René Descartes... Now one of those purloined letters has turned up at a small private college in eastern Pennsylvania... The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of Meditations on First Philosophy, a celebrated work whose use of reason and scientific methods helped to ignite a revolution in thought."

Independent Programmers' No-Win Scenario 552

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes about the no-win scenario facing today's independent programmers: 'In a knowledge economy, programmers rank among our most valuable workers, yet the current legal and regulatory climate makes a career as an independent software developer virtually a dead-end prospect.' Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the hurdles and costs of obtaining health care for one's own family, a hostile legal climate in search of accountability for any defects in code — these harsh realities make it 'easy to see why software developers would give up on entrepreneurship. For many, the risks simply don't match the potential rewards. Better to keep their heads down, not rock the boat, and hope they can hang onto their jobs until retirement.' Great news for big software vendors, which will be 'ensured an endless supply of programmers desperate for the safe haven of a steady paycheck, predictable taxation, health benefits, and a shield from civil prosecution when their code turns up buggy. But where will the next Microsoft come from? A field that discourages self-reliance sends the message that the status quo is the highest goal.'"

Researchers Create Database-Hadoop Hybrid 122

ericatcw writes "'NoSQL' alternatives such as Hadoop and MapReduce may be uber-cheap and scalable, but they remain slower and clumsier to use than relational databases, say some. Now, researchers at Yale University have created a database-Hadoop hybrid that they say offers the best of both worlds: fast performance and the ability to scale out near-indefinitely. HadoopDB was built using PostGreSQL, though MySQL has also successfully been swapped in, according to Yale computer science professor Daniel Abadi, whose students built this prototype."

Comment Re:Needless loss (Score 1) 450

The problem is, some of the more interesting sites to me at least like running their own content management platforms and end up in a homebrew situation which can be disaster-prone. We in the GLB community were lucky that was able to regroup after some creep hacked the site. Now they have implemented soft security (mirrors etc.) but it still took people and $ and rising to the occasion.

Comment Re:Food for Stallman (Score 1) 450

I think Richard's argument is more in line with his discussion of ownership of information rather than the fragility of the cloud per se. Cloud angst has been rather building broadly lately for general reasons with such tremors as google abandoning services like notebook and yahoo pulling the plug on Briefcase. There are also some interesting talks on TED about this topic. We are not very far in coming to grips with it, perhaps economic collapse will help with that.

Comment astronomy (Score 2, Informative) 250

A lot of astronomers use IDL but NASA projects in general must put their software in the public domain, so it is not surprising to find packages like the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS), the C Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) I/O (CFITSIO) libraries and many other packages and interfaces in SciPy.

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