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Comment Re:!doesn't bode well (Score 2, Insightful) 186

I think taking the software down is a very boding/bodeable/bodeful/whatever thing to do.

I completely agree. The guy who posted the original story was just wrong to say it "doesn't bode well".

By saying that, he was basically condemning Microsoft's actions before they'd even done then. I dislike MS as much as the next guy here, but - please! - what have they done in this case to warrant not boding well? As soon as they found out there was a potential problem, they pulled the software so they could investigate. Absolutely the right action.

What would you have preferred them to do? The only two other options were (a) ignore the problem, and (b) release the code. Ignoring the problem was clearly never going to happen -- even MS isn't that arrogant. And while I'm sure we'd have loved them to have just released the code, they would certainly need to check it first, because there's a very high probability that it also contains code which is licensed in a way that can't be released (especially since this is a DVD tool). So pulling it while they investigate is the right thing to do.

The most likely scenario I would suggest is that MS will re-launch the tool in a few months with the GPL parts replaced so they don't have to release any code. Not what the masses of slashdot would want, but likely to be the most sensible and pragmatic way for MS to deal with it.

The Internet

Submission + - Who's (still) wasting your bandwidth? (

An anonymous reader writes: Using the Royal Mail price finder on behalf of an ebay customer today, I noticed the layout of the HTML was poor (probably because it's formatted to work on IE only — yes, I've asked them to fix it). Unable to let any problem lie I took a look at the source and was appalled to see how much redundant whitespace was being served with the page. After 10 minutes tidying it up I discovered that where it might reasonably serve 12k of HTML data it was actually serving up 20k. Around 8,000 pointless bytes are being transmitted every time someone wants to price something up with Royal Mail. When we all used dial-up the issue was page latency; with broadband it's one of download limits. Luckily my ISP doesn't impose one and 8k is not exactly a hill of beans in these gigabyte times, but can anyone beat 40% wastage?

Submission + - ISO reform proposed: response to OOXML shenanigans

qcomp writes: In the aftermath of the irregularities surrounding the recent vote on Mircosoft's standard proposal OOXML Freecode CEO Geir Isene questions whether ISO is "prepared for a politicized process" and proposes ISO reforms "to safeguard future standardization and to ensure that the processes scale in the face of increased pressure" and calls for an "investigation" to determine if OOXML "was unduly put on the ISO fast track." There's interesting commentrary on the proposal over at Ars Technica.

Submission + - Samba 4 has reached Alpha Stage (

DaMattster writes: Samba4 alpha1 is the culmination of 4.5 years of development under our belt since Tridge first proposed a new Virtual File System (VFS) layer for Samba3 (a project which eventually lead to our Active Directory efforts), and 1.5 years since we first released a Technology Preview. We wish to allow users, managers and developers to see how we have progressed, and to invite feedback and support.

Submission + - Patenting laws altered to achieve a landmark (

An anonymous reader writes: The Innovation Alliance, a group representing Qualcomm and many smaller technology companies, said Friday before the vote that it would "radically alter" the patent system "to mitigate the potential litigation costs of the few wealthiest companies in the world." tent_reform_house;_ylt=AmrgtqINgOKM22uynkzqh7eKfD8 C

Submission + - FAA gets a big-screen touch screen

Matt writes: "Northrop Grumman best known for missile systems and other military gear for many years has been selling the TouchTable as part of what it calls an "integrated collaboration environment." They delivered their TouchTable to the Federal Aviation Administration last month and will showcase their technologies next week at a defense conference in London. There are two versions of the TouchTable; one with an 84-inch screen (1600x1200 resolution), the other with a 45-inch screen (1920x1080 resolution). Moving a hand across the surface pans the display, two fingers moving apart zooms it out, and two fingers moving together zooms it in. This simple interface allows users to easily change a view from miles above the Earth to a detailed layout of a single city block."

Submission + - Electronic Wallpaper 'Grows' From Your Photos

instar writes: A Swedish scientist has developed what he calls "Autonomous Wallpaper." Using a bluetooth cell phone, you can upload pictures to the wall, where they will be transformed into one of 6 predefined flower shapes. From Discovery News: "A prototype software program converts pixels from cell phone images into unique flower shapes and then uploads them to a wall. Once on the wall, the flowers become autonomous agents, grow and interact with other flowers, and then eventually die." I'm not one for flowery wallpaper, but it's a neat concept.

Submission + - House Passes Patent Overhaul Bill (

narramissic writes: "ITworld reports that the House of Representatives has passed a 'bill to overhaul the nation's patent system, overcoming objections by many Republicans, small inventors and some labor unions.' From the article:

The Patent Reform Act, supported by several large tech vendors including Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp., would allow courts to change they way they assess damages in patent infringement cases. Currently, courts generally consider the value of the entire product when a small piece of the product infringes a patent; the bill would allow, but not require, courts to base damages only on the value of the infringing piece.


Submission + - Storm Worm: A threat to the internets existance (

Anonymous writes: The Storm Worm. A virus and set of malware that has been spreading across the internet since January 2007. According to this article, it is now estimated that it has turned up to 50 Million computers into bots (or Zombie Computers), and is more powerful than a supercomputer.

So, I thought, a fine time to do some number crunching, to see if we can see approximately how powerful this bot-net is, and what it could do.


Submission + - Toddlers are smarter than chimps (

Lucas123 writes: "The journal Science just posted the findings of a study today that showed two-year-old children are naturally more intelligent than chimps of vastly greater age. In one experiment, chimps tasked with opening a plastic tube to retrieve food or a toy inside bit it and tried to break it, while the children watched an example and copied it. "Children and chimpanzees had very similar cognitive skills for dealing with the physical world but ... the children had more sophisticated cognitive skills than either of the ape species for dealing with the social world.""

Submission + - Race to Mars

smightyducks writes: 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" — Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. Is there a movement to get accurate science in the movies (or, in this case, on TV), and does it still make for good entertainment? This uses Serious Games as part of education, too:

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