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Government

Microsoft, EU Reach Antitrust Accord 219

alphadogg writes "Microsoft appears to have reached an agreement with the European Commission that concludes an antitrust battle that has lasted a decade, Europe's top competition regulator said today. A proposal the company offered in July to address charges of monopoly abuse were dismissed as insufficient by the Commission, as well as by rivals in the software industry. But the latest iteration appears to have mollified the EC's regulator. 'We believe this is an answer,' said competition commissioner Neelie Kroes in a press conference. 'I think this is a trustful deal we are making. There can't be a misunderstanding because it is the final result of a long discussion between Steve Ballmer and me.' The new settlement offer addresses charges that Microsoft distorted competition in its favor in the market for web browsers, by giving its Internet Explorer browser an unfair advantage over rivals." The Register points out this interesting quote from the materials Microsoft released on the subject: "Microsoft shall ensure that third-party software products can interoperate with Microsoft's Relevant Software Products using the same Interoperability Information on an equal footing as other Microsoft Software Products."
Networking

Nominum Calls Open Source DNS "a Recipe For Problems" 237

Raindeer writes "Commercial DNS software provider Nominum, in an effort to promote its new cloud-based DNS service, SKYE, has slandered all open source/freeware DNS packages. It said: 'Given all the nasty things that have happened this year, freeware is a recipe for problems, and it's just going to get worse. ... So, whether it's Eircom in Ireland or a Brazilian ISP that was attacked earlier this year, all of them were using some variant of freeware. Freeware is not akin to malware, but is opening up those customers to problems.' This has the DNS community fuming. Especially when you consider that Nominum was one of the companies affected by the DNS cache poisoning problem of last year, something PowerDNS, MaraDNS and DJBDNS (all open source) weren't vulnerable to."
Microsoft

Microsoft Launches Its Own Open Source Foundation 344

darthcamaro writes "Microsoft already had its own open source (OSI-approved) licenses, its own open source project hosting site and now it's adding its own non-profit open source foundation. That's right, the company that is still banging the patent drum against open source now has its own 501(c)(6) open source foundation. Officially called the CodePlex Foundation, it's a separate effort from the CodePlex site and is aimed at helping to get more commercial developers involved in open source. Considering how they continue to attack Linux and open source, will anyone take them seriously?"
Microsoft

Dell Says Re-Imaging HDs a Burden If Word Banned 376

N!NJA writes "In an amicus curiae brief filed on Aug. 24, Dell asked the judge overseeing the Eastern District Court of Texas to reconsider its order blocking sales of Word, part of the original ruling in favor of Canadian software developer i4i. In the worst case, the brief argued, the injunction should be delayed by 120 days. 'The District Court's injunction of Microsoft Word will have an impact far beyond Microsoft,' Dell and HP wrote. 'Microsoft Word is ubiquitous among word processing software and is included on [redacted] computers sold by Dell.' 'If Microsoft is required to ship a revised version of Word in Dell's computers, a change would need to be made to Dell's images,' Dell wrote. 'Making such a change would require extensive time- and resource- consuming testing.' An addendum to the brief notes that it was authored in Microsoft Word, part of Office 2003."
News

Obama Calls For Nuke-Free World 705

jamie points out news that President Obama has put out a call for a world free of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague today. He acknowledged that it was a long-term goal, perhaps not something that can be accomplished in his lifetime, but promised to encourage the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty. According to the BBC, he also stated his desire to "negotiate a new treaty to end the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons," and to hold a global summit within the next year to work out agreements for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it." His speech came less than a day after North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.

Comment Parallel programming is hard, film at 11. (Score 5, Informative) 626

The /. summary of TFA is almost exquisitely bad. It's not Window or Linux that's not ready for multicore (as both have supported multi-processor machines for on the order of a decade or more), but rather the userspace applications that aren't ready. The reason is simple: Parallel programming is rather hard, and historically most ISVs have haven't wanted to invest in it because they could rely on the processors getting faster every year or two... but no longer.

One area where I disagree with TFA is the claimed paucity of programming models and tools. Virtually every OS out there supports some kind of concurrent programming model, and often more than one depending on what language is used -- pthreads, Win32 threads, Java threads, OpenMP, MPI or Global Arrays on the high end, etc. Most debuggers (even gdb) also support debugging threaded programs, and if those don't have enough heft, there's always Totalview. The problem is that most ISVs have studiously avoided using any of these except when given no other choice.

--t

Microsoft

Microsoft Unveils "Elevate America" 325

nandemoari writes "In response to the current economic crisis, Microsoft Corp. has come out with a stimulus plan of their own. Their goal is to help a large group of individuals use their computers to land employment in ways other than to generate a compelling resume. The new online initiative, Elevate America, is set to equip close to 2 million people (over the next three years) with the skills needed to succeed in the field of technology."
Programming

Walter Bright Ports D To the Mac 404

jonniee writes "D is a programming language created by Walter Bright of C++ fame. D's focus is on combining the power and high performance of C/C++ with the programmer productivity of modern languages like Ruby and Python. And now he's ported it to the Macintosh. Quoting: '[Building a runtime library] exposed a lot of conditional compilation issues that had no case for OS X. I found that Linux has a bunch of API functions that are missing in OS X, like getline and getdelim, so some of the library functionality had to revert to more generic code for OS X. I had to be careful, because although many system macros had the same functionality and spelling, they had different expansions. Getting these wrong would cause some mysterious behavior, indeed.'"
Image

More Brains Needed Screenshot-sm 232

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that more people need to donate their brains to medical research if cures for diseases like dementia are to be found and are urging healthy people as well as those with brain disorders to become donors. 'For autism, we only have maybe 15 or 20 brains that have been donated that we can do our research on. That is drastically awful,' said Dr Payam Rezaie of the Neuropathology Research Laboratory at the Open University. 'We would need at least 100 cases to get meaningful data. A lot of research is being hindered by this restriction.' Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity. 'It used to be other parts of the body that we thought were important,' says Esin. 'But now people realize that their brain is the crucial thing that gives them their mind and their self.' Dr Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society, said over 90% of the brains in their bank at Imperial College London were from patients, with the remaining 10% of 'healthy' brains donated by friends or relatives of patients. 'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen. 'Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

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