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Handhelds

Submission + - Inside Apple's iPhone SDK Gag Order (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Tom Yager takes a closer look at Apple's iPhone SDK confidentiality agreement, which restricts developers from discussing the SDK or exchanging ideas with others, thereby leaving no room for forums, newsgroups, open source projects, tutorials, magazine articles, users' groups, or books. But because anyone is free to obtain the iPhone SDK by signing up for it, Apple is essentially branding publicly available information as confidential. This 'puzzling contradiction' is the 'antithesis of the developer-friendly Apple Developer Connection' on which the iPhone SDK program is based, Yager contends. 'You'll see arguments from armchair legal analysts that the iPhone developer Agreements won't stand up in court — but those analysts certainly won't stand up in court on your behalf.' Anyone planning to launch an iPhone forum or open source project should have 'a lawyer draft your request for exemption, and make sure that the Apple staffer granting it personally commits to status as authorized to approve exceptions to the iPhone Registered Developer and iPhone SDK Agreements,' Yager warns."
Security

Submission + - Apple finds multiple security holes in Ruby (zdnet.com)

ruphus13 writes: Ruby continues to be in the spotlight, but this time for the wrong reasons. "A member of Apple's security team has discovered multiple serious security vulnerabilities in Ruby, the popular open-source scripting language. According to an advisory on the Ruby project site, Apple's Drew Yao reported at least six of the vulnerabilities, which can be exploited to cause a denial-of-service condition or the execution of arbitrary code." The article goes on to state, "These vulnerabilities are likely to crop up in just about any average ruby web application. And by "crop up" I mean "crop up exploitable from trivial user-specified parameters". It's not hard to begin imagining cases where Ruby/Rails programmers use code similar to the samples above to routinely handle user input."
Biotech

Google Invests In Genetic Indexing 74

Bibek Paudel point us to a BusinessWeek report on Google's interest in the cataloging and analyzing of people's DNA. Google has recently invested in DNA screening firms Navigenics and 23andMe, which test customers' DNA for characteristics such as ancestry and predisposition for certain diseases. The customers are then able to give the information to their doctors. This is not Google's first foray into the medical industry. "Google wants to plant an early stake in a potentially large new market around genetic data. 'We are interested in supporting companies and making investments in companies that [bolster] our mission statement, which is organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful,' Google spokesman Andrew Pederson says. 'We felt it was important to get involved now, at the early stage, to better understand the information generated by this fast-moving field.'"
Television

Deal Reportedly Reached In Writers' Strike 333

BlueshiftVFX writes to let us know that the writers' strike may be over. CNBC and other media are quoting former Disney CEO Michael Eisner: "It's over. They made the deal, they shook hands on the deal. It's going on Saturday to the writers in general... A deal has been made, and they'll be back to work very soon."
The Internet

Submission + - The Curious Histories of Generic Domain Names (itworld.com)

cheezitmike writes: ITworld.com uses the Wayback Machine to document the histories of five generic domain names: music.com, eat.com, car.com, meat.com, and milk.com. "In this brave new Web 2.0 world, it's almost a badge of honor to have a Web site name that only hints at what the user will find there (see Flickr) or is so opaque as to offer no clue at all as to what the Web site is about (see del.icio.us). It's easy to forget the first Internet gold rush of the mid-to-late '90s, when dot-com domain names based on ordinary (and, investors hoped, marketable) nouns and verbs were snapped up by hopeful companies from the humble geeks who had purchased them (often ironically) in the early '90s."
Programming

Submission + - Are you proud of your code? 6

An anonymous reader writes: I have a problem and I am hoping /. group therapy is the cure, so get on with the +5 comments, post haste! I am downright embarrassed by the quality of my work; specifically, my code. It is buggy, slow, fragile, and a nightmare to maintain. Documentation, requirements, automated tests? Does not exist. Do you feel the same way? If so, then what is holding you back from realizing your full potential? More importantly, what if anything are you planning to do about it? This picture, which many of you have already seen, captures several project failure modes. It would be humorous if it weren't so depressingly true. I enjoy programming and have from a young age (cut my teeth on BASIC on an Apple IIe). I have worked for companies large and small in a variety of languages and platforms. Sadly the one constant in my career is that I am assigned to projects that drift, seemingly aimlessly, from inception to a point where the client runs out of funding and the project is abandoned. Like many young and idealistic university graduates I hoped to spend my life programming passionately, but ten years later I look in the mirror and see a whore. I'm just doing it for the money. Have any developers here successfully lobbied their company to stop or cut back on 'cowboy coding' and adopt best practices? I'm not talking about the methodology-of-the-week, I'm referring to good old fashioned advice like keeping SQL out of the UI layer. For the big prize: has anyone convinced their superiors that the customer isn't always right and saying no once in awhile is the best course of action? Thanks in advance for your helpful advice.
Censorship

Censoring a Number 1046

Rudd-O writes "Months after successful discovery of the HD-DVD processing key, an unprecedented campaign of censorship, in the form of DMCA takedown notices by the MPAA, has hit the Net. For example Spooky Action at a Distance was killed. More disturbingly, my story got Dugg twice, with the second wave hitting 15,500 votes, and today I found out it had simply disappeared from Digg. How long until the long arm of the MPAA gets to my own site (run in Ecuador) and the rest of them holding the processing key? How long will we let rampant censorship go on, in the name of economic interest?" How long before the magic 16-hex-pairs number shows up in a comment here?
Space

Sunspots Reach 1000-Year Peak 695

rlp writes "Researchers at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich are reporting that solar sunspot activity is at a 1000-year peak. Records of sunspots have been kept since 1610. The period between 1645 and 1715 (known as the Maunder Minimum) was a period of very few sunspots. Researchers extended the record by measuring isotopes of beryllium (created by cosmic rays) in Greenland ice cores. Based on both observations and ice core records, we are now at a sunspot peak exceeding solar activity for any time in the past thousand years."
Microsoft

Microsoft Vista, IE7 Banned By U.S. DOT 410

An anonymous reader writes "According to a memo being reported on by Information week, the US Department of Transportation has issued a moratorium on upgrading Microsoft products. Concerns over costs and compatability issues has lead the federal agency to prevent upgrades from XP to Vista, as well as to stop users from moving to IE 7 and Office 2007. As the article says, 'In a memo to his staff, DOT chief information officer Daniel Mintz says he has placed "an indefinite moratorium" on the upgrades as "there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft software products. Furthermore, there appears to be specific reasons not to upgrade."'"
Quake

Submission + - Quake Ported to Nintendo DS

Croakyvoice writes: Simon Hall has ported the classic First Person Shooter Quake over to the Nintendo DS

the program, working state and game data have been squeezed into the four megabytes of main memory it requires either shareware or commercial pak files, Amiga and PC paks have been successfully used total conversions and mods should work, assuming they respect the tiny memory size networking currently has been removed, but will return at a later date.
Graphics

Submission + - New Blender.org Website and Blender 2.43 Released

Jasonlan writes: "The http://www.blender.org/ website has been fully remade and the New Blender 2.43 Released.
Matt Ebb(Elephants Dream) and Bart Veldhuizen(BlenderNation) have been busy creating the new Blender.org Website.

"The 2.43 release could be nicked the "Multi" version; with multi-resolution Meshes, multi-level UV, multi-layer images and multi-pass rendering, to name some highlights."

Blender 3D 2.43 Sports a new Sculpted Mesh, by Giuseppe Canino
Modifier stack upgrades, new modifiers: Edgesplit and Displace and UV Project
Sculpt Modeling, Multiresolution Mesh, Retopo, editing Mesh topology, Fluid Dynamics supporting animated Objects, Multiple UV's and vertex colors, Image Painting and Face Duplicators.

Animation has improved Walk Cycle Modifiers, Proxy Objects, for local control over referenced data from Libraries.

Render features: alpha masks, node shader speedup, tangents and normal maps, Irregular Shadow Buffers, Shadow buffer, Halfway average, Render Baking, Render Passes

Compositing has improved UV Map, Index Mask and Z-Combine, Defocus, Matte Nodes.

Multi-layer images, Sequence images, flipbooks added.

New physics examples including constraints and compound objects.

All in All another GREAT Release!"
Software

Submission + - Smart iWeb Publishing with iWebFlinger

Anonymous Cow-Ward writes: http://www.shullian.com/iWebFlinger/iWebFlinger.ht ml
iWebFlinger allows an iWeb user to choose a site to upload, an ftp server to upload to, and to optionally insert a favicon and your own html code. Best of all, your ftp passwords are secured via OS X's Keychain.
        Whats more, once you set up the source folder (which is the folder you publish your site to), and ftp server, the iWebFlinger daemon automatically checks for changes to the source folder. Then it finds only those files which have actually changed (not just their creation/modification times since iWeb changes them all), and uploads them.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft blasts IBM in open letter

carlmenezes writes: Arstechnica has an article on Microsoft's open letter to IBM that adds fresh ammunition to the battle of words between those who support Microsoft's Open XML and OpenOffice.org's OpenDocument file formats. Microsoft has strong words for IBM, which it accuses of deliberately trying to sabotage Microsoft's attempt to get Open XML certified as a standard by the ECMA. In the letter, general managers Tom Robertson and Jean Paol write: "When ODF was under consideration, Microsoft made no effort to slow down the process because we recognized customers' interest in the standardization of document formats." In contrast, the authors charge that IBM "led a global campaign" urging that governments and other organizations demand that International Standards Organization (ISO) reject Open XML outright.
Could MS actually be getting a taste of their own medicine?

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