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Windows

Submission + - "Windows 7 compatible" PCs must be 64-bit (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "Microsoft has started certifying PCs as "compatible with Windows 7" — and looks to have avoided the mistakes that dogged the Vista Capable scheme. Whereas Microsoft certified PCs that could only run Vista Home Basic last time round, this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker, including 64-bit versions of the OS. Microsoft also claims that "products that receive the logo are checked for common issues to minimise the number of crashes, hangs, and reboots experienced by the user.""
Power

Submission + - Ubuntu uses 15% less power than Windows 7 (o-lab.se) 1

An anonymous reader writes: This test is done at Orestad's Laboratories in Sweden. It shows that you save at least 15% more power by using Latest Ubuntu, compared to latest Windows 7. This could save thousands of dollars every year in electricity costs, even for a small company.
Input Devices

Submission + - New Logitech Dark Field mice operate on glass (pcauthority.com.au) 1

Slatterz writes: Logitech has introduced new mice that use two lasers rather than one to work on a variety of previously unusable surfaces. The first laser picks out imperfections in the surface of a tabletop while the second laser focuses on microscopic imperfections highlighted and uses those to direct the cursor. The technique, dubbed dark field microscopy, allows mice to be used on almost any surface, including glass as long as it is more than 4mm thick.
Education

Submission + - The swine flu vaccine more deadly than the flu its (freemindsmedia.org)

Toby Iselin writes: "Complications from the swine flu vaccine which is scheduled to be administered to millions of people has been linked to fatal nerve damage. In a confidential letters leaked to the Daily Mail, over 600 of the world's top neurologists have been warned that the vaccine could cause a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)."
United States

Submission + - Man jailed for 17 years for intent to commit crime 3

chrb writes: Wired is reporting that Indiana resident James Daniel has been jailed for 17.5 years for chatroom grooming. The case took an unusual twist when it was discovered that all of the "underage girls" he had been talking to were in fact Secret Service agents, who had no knowledge that other agents were talking to the same man. Despite there being no evidence that Daniel had ever managed to talk to an actual teenage girl, an appellate panel has upheld the conviction based upon the chat logs showing an "intent to commit a crime".
Security

Submission + - Amazon confirms EC2/S3 not PCI Level 1 compliant

Jason writes: After months of digging though speculation and polar opposite opinions from PCI experts, I finally sent a direct request to Amazon's AWS sales team asking if they are in fact PCI compliant and will provide documentation attesting that they are as is required by PCI guidlines. I fully expecting them to dodge the question and refer me to a QSA, but to my relief, they replied with a refreshingly honest and absolute confirmation that it is currently impossible to meet PCI level 1 compliance using AWS services for card data storage. They also very strong suggest that cardnumbers never be stored on EC2 or S3 as those services are inherently noncompliant. For now at least, the official verdict is if you need to process credit cards, the Amazon cloud platform is off the table.

Comment Shudder (Score 1) 693

If true, this is definately "Double-Plus Un Good", Orwellian England comes closer by the day. This level of nanny state interference deminishes the whole of society by creating an entire generation of citizens who will not only accept the state control but expect it too.

The more we read daily about the way the U.K. is going, the more we thank God that we were amongst the fortunate ones about to escape/emigrate from the place in the nineties for a better life in the land down under. Ok, so Oz isn't doing that well on the censorship rankings at the moment with the proposed internet filter, but we are getting more and more concerned each day about the quality of life and diminishing rights of the family and friends left behind.

Comment Code 'til you drop... (Score 1) 592

I recently got another year (much) closer to my half century - the idea of moving into management makes me shudder, I intend to code until I retire (and beyond probably).

I guess it depends on how you view management. My experience is that they can't avoid the office politics and tend to be the target of much of it too. You say you enjoy management but have you tried all facets of it? Have you had to make the unpopular decisions that all managers have to at some time and do you think you can live with doing that for the rest of your working life.

To be a good manager in the modern IT industry requires you to keep on learning, just as I have to as a coder so don't fool yourself into thinking it will be any easier - it could be harder.

At the end of the day there is no real reason why you should not continue to code until retirement, except those reasons you create yourself; besides, there could be other better opportunities waiting round the corner.

Do what makes you happy and you feel comfortable with - if you're feeling uncomfortable and threatened by the up and coming younger developers then perhaps it's time to move on but it doesn't have to be that way.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Google announces Google Chrome OS

aaaurgh writes: I guess it was only a matter of time, but Google has finally announced its plans to develop an Operating System. Initially targetting netbooks and users who live in the on-line internet world, it's their "attempt to re-think what operating systems should be". Will this make Microsoft quiver in their boots or are Google living with their heads in the cloud — only time will tell.

Check out the announcement and details on the Official Google Blog
Patents

Toyota Builds a Patent Thicket For Hybrid Cars 307

Lorien_the_first_one sends along a WSJ piece reporting on how Toyota is hoping to benefit from new Obama Administration regulations for automobiles here in the US. "Since it started developing the gas-electric Prius more than a decade ago, Toyota has kept its attorneys just as busy as its engineers, meticulously filing for patents on more than 2,000 systems and components for its best-selling hybrid. Its third-generation Prius, which hit showrooms in May, accounts for about half of those patents alone. Toyota's goal: to make it difficult for other auto makers to develop their own hybrids without seeking licensing from Toyota, as Ford Motor Co. already did to make its Escape hybrid and Nissan Motor Co. has for its Altima hybrid."
Privacy

Gaze-Tracking Software Protects Computer Privacy 134

Ponca City, We Love You writes "Two years ago computer security expert Bill Anderson read about scientific research on how the human eye moves as it reads and processes text and images. 'This obscure characteristic... suddenly struck me as (a solution to) a security problem,' says Anderson. With the help of a couple of software developers, Anderson developed a software program called Chameleon that tracks a viewer's gaze patterns and only allows an authorized user to read text on the screen, while everyone else sees gibberish. Chameleon uses gaze-tracking software and camera equipment to track an authorized reader's eyes to show only that one person the correct text. After a 15-second calibration period in which the software learns the viewer's gaze patterns, anyone looking over that user's shoulder sees dummy text that randomly and constantly changes. To tap the broader consumer market, Anderson built a more consumer-friendly version called PrivateEye, which can work with a simple Webcam to blur a user's monitor when he or she turns away. It also detects other faces in the background, and a small video screen pops up to alert the user that someone is looking at the screen. 'There have been inventions in the space of gaze-tracking. There have been inventions in the space of security,' says Anderson. 'But nobody has put the two ideas together, as far as we know.'"
Microsoft

Journal Journal: Why I have little faith in Microsoft's future.

My foremost misgiving with Microsoft: it is not a software development company: it is a marketing company before anything else. From its 1981 "creation" of PC-DOS for IBM, in reality an already-existing OS bought from Seattle Computer Products, Microsoft adopted the marketing method to which it owes its fortune: getting their software pre-installed on many computers as possible. They did the same sort of deal with IBM-Clone manufact

Businesses

Submission + - If You Live by Free, You Will Die by Free

Hugh Pickens writes: "Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban writes that the problem with companies who have built their business around free is that the more success you have in delivering free, the more expensive it is to stay at the top. "They will be Facebook to your Myspace, or Myspace to your Friendster or Google to your Yahoo," writes Cuban. "Someone out there with a better idea will raise a bunch of money, give it away for free, build scale and charge less to reach the audience." Cuban says that even Google, who lives and dies by free, knows that "at some point your Black Swan competitor will appear and they will kick your ass" and that is exactly why Google invests in everything and anything they possibly can that they believe can create another business they can depend on in the future searching for the "next big Google thing." Cuban says that for any company that lives by Free, their best choice is to run the company as profitably as possible, focusing only on those things that generate revenue and put cash in the bank. "When you succeed with Free, you are going to die by Free. Your best bet is to recognize where you are in your company's lifecycle and maximize your profits rather than try to extend your stay at the top," writes Cuban. "Like every company in the free space, your lifecycle has come to its conclusion. Don't fight it. Admit it. Profit from it.""
Communications

A Look At Google's Email Spam Prevention 176

CNet has a story about the security measures Google employs to protect their email systems and fight the never-ending war on spam. Their Postini team, acquired two years ago, has a variety of monitoring tools and automated response systems to find and block undesirable messages. Quoting: "The system scores each message on numerous combinations of criteria, assigning a weight to each and then comparing the score to those in a database of several hundred thousand message types that have been flagged as good or bad from Postini honey pots and customer spam reports. ... To block fresh spam attacks not covered by existing heuristic technologies and viruses not covered by existing signature databases Postini relies on proprietary Zero-Hour technology to identify new outbreaks that show up in the traffic patterns and quarantine them for later rescanning. Customers can also create and build out their own white lists of message senders they trust and blacklist others they don't trust. It takes an average of 150 milliseconds for a message to be scanned by the antivirus engines that Postini licenses from McAfee and Authentium.

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