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Google

Submission + - Google returns bad results in top 10 (blogspot.com)

Aravind Ranganathan writes: "Google consistently returns bad results in the top 10 if the search keywords happen to be in the text of a blog post even though the blog (or that post) is on a totally irrelevant topic. I found this first hand when someone Googled "flight from cincinnati to mumbai" and was directed to one of my blog posts on the problems I once had during my travel from Mumbai to Cincinnati. Google returned my post as the 2nd in its search results!! The question is, is this a flaw in the page ranking algorithm? Or is Google just giving more importance to Blogger pages than necessary?"
Software

Submission + - Predicting drug side effects

Roland Piquepaille writes: "It would certainly be nice for the pharmaceutical industry to identify potential side effects of a drug before it starts to be tested on humans. Now, a research team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) might have found a solution. They have developed a new computational technique to predict drug side effects. Besides identifying adverse effects of a new drug before human clinical trials, this method can also be used to explain the known side effects of drugs already on the market. But read more for additional references and pictures showing how drugs can bind to several proteins."
Censorship

Submission + - Wikipedia COO was Convicted Felon (theregister.co.uk) 4

An anonymous reader writes: From the Register:

"For more than six months, beginning in January of this year, Wikipedia's million-dollar check book was balanced by a convicted felon. When Carolyn Bothwell Doran was hired as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Florida-based Wikimedia Foundation, she had a criminal record in three other states — Virginia, Maryland, and Texas — and she was still on parole for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) hit and run that resulted in a fatality. Her record also included convictions for passing bad checks, theft, petty larceny, additional DUIs, and unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gun shot to the chest."

Media

Submission + - Why are some HD shows S T R E T C H E D? (newteevee.com) 1

Chris Albrecht writes: "There's some science behind some TV networks distorting their shows to fit a widescreen format. TBS uses an algorithm to determine where the action is taking place. It keeps that ratio normal and stretches the rest of the image to fit the screen. Research also says people prefer the stretched image to the original. What do you think?"
Networking

Submission + - Time Warner Cable Wins State-Wide Cable Franchise (state.oh.us) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Time Warner Cable has received the second state-wide franchise agreement, covering 260 communities, in 60 of Ohio's 88 counties, for 10 years. AT&T was the first to earn a state-wide franchise contract, after a law was passed in September that allowed operators to negotiate a single state-wide agreement. Normally operators negotiate franchise agreements at the local level.
Businesses

Submission + - The Epic Battle between Microsoft and Google 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "There is a long article in the NYTimes well worth reading called "Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft" about the business strategies both companies are pursuing and about the future of applications and where they will reside — on the web or on the desktop. Google President Eric Schmidt thinks that 90 percent of computing will eventually reside in the Web-based cloud and about 2,000 companies are signing up every day for Google Apps, simpler versions of the pricey programs that make up Microsoft's lucrative Office business. Microsoft faces a business quandary as they to try to link the Web to its desktop business — "software plus Internet services," in its formulation. Microsoft will embrace the Web, while striving to maintain the revenue and profits from its desktop software businesses, the corporate gold mine, a smart strategy for now that may not be sustainable. Google faces competition from Microsoft and from other Web-based productivity software being offered by start-ups but it is "unclear at this point whether Google will be able to capitalize on the trends that it's accelerating." David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School, says the Google model is to try to change all the rules. If Google succeeds, "a lot of the value that Microsoft provides today is potentially obsolete.""
Cellphones

Submission + - The Twitter/T-Mobile Battle (bibleboy.org)

bblboy54 writes: "Starting Sunday December 9th, many T-Mobile customers began having issues sending SMS messages to the Twitter service. Initially this was thought to be a bug but customers began investigating and received very strong e-mail responses from T-Mobile's President's office. On Thursday, AlternaGeek reported the speculation. It was then later confirmed by the emails customers were receiving from T-Mobile and TechCrunch picked up the story. After a huge outcry from the Twitter community, it was just reported by a representative of Twitter that the problem was found to be technical and not political but this is not only after the direct emails from T-Mobile but also Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, announced T-Mobile was blocking Twitter. The motives and actions of what happened are up for debate but, at the very least, T-Mobile owes their customers and explanation for the way they were treated."
Networking

Submission + - Broadband over Power Lines under pressure (mybroadband.co.za)

slash-sa writes: "Power Line Telecommunication (PLT) is the official terminology for what elsewhere in the world is referred to as PLC and BPL. Its proponents claim it to be the answer to provide cheap broadband to the masses. But will it ever materialize? Can we liken it to a cheap alternative drug which has huge side effects that makes its use undesirable? Is it not a question of too little too late?"
Cellphones

Submission + - Japanese phone technology coming to North America

An anonymous reader writes: Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper brings us an article on a hot Japanese technology poised to break into the US and Canadian cell phone market.

QR codes look like a cross between a Magic Eye picture and a poorly-played game of Tetris, but they are actually scannable bits of information that function much like traditional bar codes. QR codes can appear in printed matter, such as newspaper or magazine ads, or on business cards or letterhead, or on actual objects. For example, McDonald's restaurants in Japan have been using QR codes for more than a year on their food wrappers, providing a link that sends customers to a website displaying nutritional information.

When a cellphone user snaps a picture of a QR code, it automatically triggers a response in the phone that can open a link to a website, dial a phone number or download an application. A Canadian company, Luna Development, is finally bringing this technology to the US and Canada.
The Military

Submission + - Wired: How Tech Almost Lost the War 1

An anonymous reader writes: Blame the geeks for the mess in Iraq? Wired says so. Networked troops were supposed to be so efficient, it'd take just a few of 'em to wipe out their enemies. But the Pentagon got their network theory all wrong, with too few nodes and a closed architecture. Besides, a more efficient killing machine is the last thing you want in an insurgency like Iraq.
Windows

Submission + - More evidence that XP is Vista's main competitor (computerworld.com) 3

Ian Lamont writes: "Computerworld is reporting that Windows XP Service Pack 3 runs MS Office 10% faster than XP SP2 — and is "considerably faster" than Vista SP1. XP SP3 isn't scheduled to be released until next year, but testers at Devil Mountain Software — the same company which found Vista SP 1 to be hardly any faster than the debut version of Vista — were able to run some benchmarking tests on a release candidate of XP SP3, says the report. While this may be great news for XP owners, it is a problem for Microsoft, which is having trouble convincing business users to migrate to Vista: 'Vista's biggest competition isn't Apple or Novell or Red Hat; it's Microsoft itself, it's XP, [Forrester Research analyst Benjamin Gray] said. So enamored of XP are businesses that Microsoft may feel obligated to extend the operating system's mainstream support past its current April 2009 expiration date. ... He attributed the lowered expectations to a lack of detailed information about Vista in 2006; too-high prices for PCs with 2GB of memory, which is essentially the minimum needed for Vista, according to company managers; and a larger-than-expected number of incompatible applications.'"
The Internet

Submission + - Web Traffic Snarls Sites on Black Friday (eweek.com)

eweekhickins writes: "A surge of e-commerce traffic on Thanksgiving night and all day Friday apparently caught several retail giants by surprise, with Lowe's, Macys and Victoria's Secret especially hard hit. In fact, almost a third of leading retailers suffered significant slowdowns on Black Friday, according to statistics released this weekend by Keynote Competitive Research, a firm that tracks Web site performance. The site run by Victoria's Secret also slowed, but users seemed more tolerant about waiting for the site's "exclusive" pictures to download. Go figure."
Linux Business

Submission + - Torvalds on where Linux is headed in 2008

Stony Stevenson writes: In this new interview, Linus Torvalds is excited about solid-state drives, expects progress in graphics and wireless networking, and says the operating system is strong in virtualisation despite his personal lack of interest in the area.

From the article: "To get some perspective on what lies ahead in 2008, we caught up with Linus Torvalds via email. His responses touched on the Linux development process, upcoming features, and whether he's concerned about potential patent litigation."

Torvalds on Linux biggest strength: "When you buy an OS from Microsoft, not only you can't fix it, but it has had years of being skewed by one single entity's sense of the market. It doesn't matter how competent Microsoft — or any individual company — is, it's going to reflect that fact. In contrast, look at where Linux is used. Everything from cellphones and other small embedded computers that people wouldn't even think of as computers, to the bulk of the biggest machines on the supercomputer Top-500 list. That is flexibility. And it stems directly from the fact that anybody who is interested can participate in the development, and no single entity ends up being in control of where it all goes.
Software

Submission + - Free Linux based home anti-virus/spy/adware proxy? 1

JaBob writes: Would anyone know how would to go about setting up a linux distro as a home firewall/antivirus/antispyware/ad blocking proxy? I have been wanting to play with a linux box more and more, and I'm sick and tired of fixing my family's windows boxes from the crap that they download. Is there some kind of free proxy solution that will also scan incoming files and extensions for malware and other garbage? I know I can't get them to switch to linux, because some of the apps we depend on don't work on linux, even under wine. A simple Google search yields quite a bit on using Squid to filter ads http://www.google.com/search?q=squid+ad+block , but I have yet to find any information on using it as a filter for other things. I have played with MS ISA server 2004 and would love it if there was something similar or better. I'm a bit of a techie (mechanical engineering student that used to major in CS), and don't mind having to learn a bit to get it set up and working properly, but I don't want to have to think about it and write it from scratch myself (no time, insufficient skills). I could really use a bit of help from people who are a bit wiser and more experienced in this than I am. Thanks.
Software

Submission + - Free ERP/CRM java Rich Internet Application (sourceforge.net)

Mauro Carniel writes: "JAllInOne is an ERP/CRM java application having a Swing front-end. It is a Rich Internet Application so the front-end can remotely comunicate with the server-side layer of JAllInOne via HTTP protocol. This application was developed in a few months thanks to Openswing capabilities: this is a development framework that allows to create RIAs with a GUI having very complex contents with low development time. Response time over Internet is good, thanks to the limited amount of bytes that go through the net: only data is transmitted between client and server, no presentation content is transmitted over the net, as for HTML based web applications. Client application is launched through Java Web Start utility (included in JRE distribution); only the first time JAllInOne is invoked the client application must be downloaded from the server: after the first download, client application resides in the client machine. Java Web Start automatically sinchronizes client application when new releases are available in the Application Server. Server-side application is based on java servlet technology and does not require an EJB container: so JAllInOne server side application can be executed inside any Web container, such as Tomcat, Jetty, JBoss, etc. Main features: Sales, Purchases, Warehouse, Bill of materials and production, Accounting, Agenda, CRM, Customers and contacts hierarchies, Callouts and appoinments management, Document management, Users and roles management, database schema management, grids and forms customization, reporting solution based on Jasper Report, reports customization. Multi-user, multi-currency, multi-language, multi-company. JAllInOne installation is simplified by means of a wizard automatically invoked the first time the application is remotelly accessed."

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