from the may-have-been-some-structural-flaws dept.
mahuyar writes "Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. 'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."'"
from the kindness-starts-at-home dept.
Strudelkugel writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates is going to call for a revision of capitalism. He will argue that the economics that drive much of the world should use market forces to address the needs of poor countries, which he feels are currently being ignored. 'We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well,' Mr. Gates will say in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 'Key to Mr. Gates's plan will be for businesses to dedicate their top people to poor issues — an approach he feels is more powerful than traditional corporate donations and volunteer work. Governments should set policies and disburse funds to create financial incentives for businesses to improve the lives of the poor, he plans to say. Mr. Gates's argument for the potential profitability of serving the poor is certain to raise skepticism, and some people may point out that poverty became a priority for Mr. Gates only after he'd earned billions building up Microsoft. But Mr. Gates is emphatic that he's not calling for a fundamental change in how capitalism works.'"
alphadogg-nw writes: Educational institutions will increase spending on open-source software and services over the next few years, but that doesn't mean proprietary software will be left in the dark, according to a new report covering 14 countries. Market research company Datamonitor predicts that primary and secondary schools and universities will spend $489.9 million on open-source software by 2012, up from $286.2 million now. A small minority of schools have opted for open-source for "philosophical" reasons, such as a desire not to give their money to a commercial software company. However, most decisions to use open-source were strategic, he said. Link to Original Source
Technical Writing Geek writes: "If sales were indeed lost to piracy, then why hasn't this become a line item on the books and therefore tax deductible? Seriously, if all this intellectual property theft is theft in any conceivable way, then take the IRS deduction based on the press announcements and see how far you get.
Roland Piquepaille writes: "Snowflakes have been puzzling mathematicians for about four centuries. Still, scientists have never been able to fully explain snowflake shapes. For example, is this true that their six-pointed structure reflect an underlying crystal structure? Now, two U.S. mathematicians have developed software that simulates 3-D snowflakes. And they discovered that even 'no two snowflakes are truly alike,' they're very similar to each other. In fact, the real mystery is why they are not more different from each other. But read more for additional references and beautiful images of 'snowfakes' as the researchers called them."
HRHsoleil writes: TechTarget editor Margaret Rouse posted 20 of the most interesting apologies made in IT this year. This quirky list includes Intel, Apple, Sony, Comcast, Verizon, Sun, Microsoft, RIM — all the big boys saying "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'll do better next year."
mbone writes: "Apparently the Near Earth Object (NEO) program has found an asteroid that may
impact Mars on January 30th. The current probability is
one in 75, which is pretty high a month out. Estimated energy release if it does impact Mars is in the multiple megaton range.
If it does hit Mars, then we should have quite a show, with all of the spacecraft orbiting and landed on the planet. Of course, it is possible that this is an old, failed, spacecraft from decades ago, which would also be interesting, if not as spectacular."
DM420 writes: I work in a building in Gastown in Vancouver, BC. About a week ago (Wednesday) people broke into our building and stole a bunch of iMac computers from a shared workspace/coffee bar a floor above us. There were few leads and as usual nothing was excepted to happen. Vancouver cops don't seem to follow up much in this area due to high property crime and not enough resources. This was until this morning when the so called thief uploaded a picture of himself and his tattoos to Flickr from the one of the stolen iMacs. It was setup to autoupload so patrons of the workspace/coffee bar could share their pictures online. Funnily enough, you get a dialog box that asks you to confirm the upload and the would be criminal clicked YES! Just goes to show you have to computer savvy these days if you want to be part of the underworld.
Enjoy the pictures:
vcygnus writes: "Today I needed to acces my guitar's truss rod, so I went to Google in order to search the way to acces
it and make some adjusts.
I searched for "ovation tangent 357 truss rod"
and Google came out with only three possibly useful results at the top, followed by seven results from.cn domains, featuring nonsense titles and
descriptions made of random words.
I didn't care too much about it, so I went to the next results page, but there they were again. A whole page full of those useless.cn domains.
Went to the next page, and the next one, and so on. I was on page 95 (10 results per page) and every single page lacked of results from domains other than.cn
I also found out the URLs of the results (those in green, before the "Similar pages" link) contained invalid characters such as U+FF0E and U+FF43,
which render as characteres identical to "." and "c", respectively, but not the standard "." (U+002E) and "c" (U+0063) characters. i.e.:
d39[\uff0e]1xacb.[\uff43]n/ (visually, d39.1xacb.cn/).
Seems like all of those domains were registered early this month.
Yahoo and Altavista behave in a similar way with the same search keywords, but they give only three result pages. Microsoft Live Search does not show any of those.cn domain in their results, though.
What could be the goal of spamming a search engine? To avoid the visitor to find what he/she looks for? Those are just randomly named domains and they don't sell or advertise anything."
alvo writes: "1 million Post-it's, 96 314 digital photographs using 2.5 terabytes of storage, 4.9 kilometers of 35mm film, 3 weeks of editing, and 83 hours in Flame to produce this 60 second commercial"
grumpyman writes: Radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies.
01100111 writes: "Standard 4 / 7 port USB hubs are a thing of the past! A Japanese guy has hacked together a 31 port USB hub from 5 x 7 port USB hubs.. omg! There are instructions on how to build your own! =)"
EzRider writes: A gentleman from Erie named John Kanzius made a somewhat "shocking" discovery while he was working on a radio-wave generator he had developed for the treatment of cancer. While attempting to desalinate sea water using radio frequencies, he noticed flashes, and within a few days, had saltwater burning in a test-tube as if it were a candle. The discovery spawned interest from the scientific community, mostly concerned with whether or not the water could be used as a fuel, and of course, healthy doses of disbelief. Last week, a Penn State University chemist named Rustum Roy held a demonstration proving that the science is sound, noting that the water doesn't burn, though the radio frequencies weaken the bonds holding together the salt, releasing hydrogen which is ignited when exposed to the RF field. Mr. Kanzius and Dr. Roy say the question now is the efficiency of the energy, and are presenting the technology to the US Department of Defense and Department of Energy to investigate how useful the technology will be. Of the plentiful maybe-fuel (which apparently burns so hot it can melt test-tubes) Dr. Roy says, "This is the most abundant element in the world. It is everywhere," and (without recognition of the poetic irony, as far as we can tell), "Seeing it burn gives me chills." Check the TV report after the break to see the water in action.
ScaredOfTheMan writes: According to the Y2K forums a Bioshock PC install is only valid per one user (the one you were logged in as when you installed it). Any attempt to play the game from a different user account will require further activation. All I can say is Weak! Check out the metaphor of why your brother should not play the game you purchased.