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Microsoft

Submission + - the Longhorn dream reborn (arstechnica.com)

gbjbaanb writes: Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers.
Education

3rd-Grader Busted For Jolly Rancher Possession Screenshot-sm 804

theodp writes "A third-grader in a small Texas school district received a week's detention for merely possessing a Jolly Rancher. Leighann Adair, 10, was eating lunch Monday when a teacher confiscated the candy. Her parents said she was in tears when she arrived home later that afternoon and handed them the detention notice. But school officials are defending the sentence, saying the school was abiding by a state guideline that banned 'minimal nutrition' foods. 'Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,' said school superintendent Jack Ellis."
Censorship

Scientology Tries To Block German Documentary 565

eldavojohn writes "The Guardian is reporting on the strained relationship that Scientology is having with the German government and the airing of a pesky documentary on Southwest Broadcasting. Until Nothing Remains, a $2.3 million documentary, is slotted to air on German television at the end of this month. It recounts the true story of Heiner von Rönn and his family's suffering when he tried to leave the Church of Scientology. A Scientology spokesperson called the film false and intolerant and also said they are investigating legal means to stop the film from being aired. More details on the film can be gleaned here."
Image

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels Screenshot-sm 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”
Technology

China Moving To Restrict Neodymium Supply 477

GuyFawkes writes with this quote from the Independent: "Britain and other Western countries risk running out of supplies of certain highly sought-after rare metals that are vital to a host of green technologies, amid growing evidence that China, which has a monopoly on global production, is set to choke off exports of valuable compounds. Failure to secure alternative long-term sources of rare earth elements (REEs) would affect the manufacturing and development of low-carbon technology, which relies on the unique properties of the 17 metals to mass-produce eco-friendly innovations such as wind turbines and low-energy light bulbs. China, whose mines account for 97 per cent of global supplies, is trying to ensure that all raw REE materials are processed within its borders. During the past seven years it has reduced by 40 per cent the amount of rare earths available for export."

Comment Re:Missing option: (Score 1) 485

Hmm - I've switched a small elementary school to Google Apps, and my opinion of it is *slightly* different.

Don't get me wrong - Google Mail just plain rocks. There's no getting around that. But the calendar, chat and docs integration is just kind of just meh. Why do I have to switch web sites to view a calendar? And Docs, well, it just plane sucks compared to Office Online. I'm sure it will eventually get better, but geez - its been a beta product for *years* and while improving, still has a long way to go. And Office 2007 has been out for a while. Support the damned format already.

But my biggest gripe - Where the F* is Google Groups for Apps users? How friggin' hard would it be to integrate an email group for my teacher's classroom, without going out to plain old google groups - As an admin, not being able to do *anything* with email other than setting up distribution groups is just plain wrong. And asking one of my teachers to set this up? No thank you - they're there to teach, not be techies.

So yea, great compared to our old email system. Replacing Small Business Server or Office any time soon? Never.

The Gimp

First Looks at The Gimp 2.5 446

desmondhaynes writes "The GIMP team announced today the first release from the 2.5 development series. It is true that this version is unstable, but a little bird told me to give it a try and see what's it capable of. First of all, let me tell you that its interface is quite redesigned and I think that some users will have problems adjusting with it, but that's just my two cents. On the other hand, version 2.5.0 of The GIMP includes some hot new features, like the integration of GEGL (Generic Graphics Library) which will finally get support for higher color depths, more colorspaces and eventually non-destructive editing."

The D&D Designers Answer Your Questions 211

In January we had the chance to ask the designers of Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition a few questions about the new version of the classic tabletop game. The Wizards of the Coast Community Manager, Mike "Gamer_Zer0" Lescault put our questions to members of the development team, including: Andrew Collins, Chris Perkins, Scott Rouse, and Sara Girard. Some of the questions weren't quite answered in as much detail as I would have liked. That said, they've given us a great opportunity to follow up on their responses. If you have a follow-up question, put it in a comment below (one question per comment please). We'll pass on five of the best, and the designers will answer your question on-camera at the Dungeons and Dragons Experience at the end of this month. We'll post the video to the site early in March. This is a great chance to put a face to some legendary designer names, and get your unanswered issues resolved. Get asking.
Microsoft

Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea 150

orlando writes "Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, currently schedule for the end of February. After that there's a subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably about the riskiest thing you can do, if you are concerned with long term interoperability. At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already-dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today? Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How to avoid hiring an American

netbuzz writes: "Keep this video in mind next time someone like Bill Gates complains that they just can't find qualified American workers to fill key tech jobs. "Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker," a marketing executive for a law firm tells his audience. And what's the advice for those employers who fail to achieve that goal and are confronted with a qualified American: "find a legal basis to disqualify them."

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1642 1"
Space

U.S. Billionaire Heads to Space Station 208

TurnAround writes "According to an International Business Times article, a Russian rocket carrying the American billionaire who helped develop Microsoft Word roared into the night skies over Kazakhstan Saturday, sending Charles Simonyi and two cosmonauts soaring into orbit on a two-day journey to the international space station. Climbing on a column of smoke and fire into the clouds over the bleak steppes, the Soyuz TMA-10 capsule lifted off at 11:31 p.m. local time, casting an orange glow over the Baikonur cosmodrome and dozens of officials and well-wishers watching from about a mile away."

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