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Media

BBC Download Plans Approved 177

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that following approval from the BBC Trust (an independent oversight body) they are now allowed to release their 'iPlayer', enabling the download and viewing of BBC owned content such as Doctor Who. Unfortunately the Trust also mandated the use of DRM to enforce a 30 day playable period, and exempted classical music performances from being made available. There will now be a 2 month consultation period. According to one of the trustees, the Trust 'could still change its mind if there was a public outcry and it was backed up by evidence.'"
Programming

Submission + - IBM's Chief Architect Says Software is at Dead End

j2xs writes: "In this InformationWeek article Where's the Software to Catch Up to Multicore Computing? the Chief Architect at IBM gives some fairly compelling reasons why your favorite software will soon be rendered "deadly slow" (my words) because of new hardware architectures. Why? The darn s/w doesn't understand how to do work in parallel to take advantage of 16, 64, 128 cores on new processors. Science fiction? Think again. Intel just stated in an SD Times article (Jan 15, 2007 hardcopy issue) that 100% of its server processors will be multicore by end of 2007. We will never, ever return to single processor computers. In my view, software developers are in a state of denial and it's the end-users who will get burned in the end."
Linux Business

SCO Admits They Might Just Not Win - Maybe 126

inetsee writes "According to Groklaw, SCO has admitted in a 10K filing that if the court grants any or all of IBM's six motions for summary judgement, 'We can not guarantee whether our claims against IBM or Novell will be heard by a jury.' The site goes through a statement by statement run-down of SCO's filing, noting things like the absence of employee numbers (a piece of information they told investors they would disclose). Elsewhere in the document, it is revealed that SCO's stock is in danger of being delisted from NASDAQ, they may come under further litigation from an unrelated legal matter, and SCO is now claiming that OSes like HP-UX and Solaris are derivatives of code that they 'own'. Despite the dire pronouncements throughout the filing, if everything else runs according to plan their 10K indicates they could keep fighting the good fight for another 12 months."
Lord of the Rings

Scientists Hope To Settle "Hobbit" Debate 164

Several readers wrote in with news of the debate around the identity of an ancient woman whose diminutive skeleton was found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004. Fox News reports that Australian scientists have discovered a subterranean chamber that may contain DNA proof that will settle the question of whether "the Hobbit," as the specimen is called, actually is a representative of a new branch of the human family, or not. The find's discoverers named the putative new race Homo floresiensis. Others in the anthropological field question this identification, arguing that the meter-tall Hobbit was a modern human who had something wrong with her. In a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with one of the original discovery team as co-author, researchers say they have compared the Hobbit's skull to those of modern humans with various ailments such as microcephaly, and that the Hobbit is different.
Spam

Cingular, Others Fined For Using Adware 109

amigoro writes "Cingular, Priceline, and Travelocity have been fined for using adware by the New York Attorney General. The companies will each pay $30K to $35K as penalties and investigatory costs. More importantly, the companies agreed to a series of restrictions and best practices that, while they make eminent sense to consumers, will be loathsome to businesses accustomed to having their way with our computers."
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Thailand replicates AIDS drugs instead of buying

unchiujar writes: "Thailand's health ministry says it has approved the production of cheaper versions of patented anti-Aids and heart disease drugs.

Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla said the step was necessary to make the cost of the medicines — Kaletra and Plavix — more affordable.

The move was criticised by pharmaceutical companies but drew praise from Aids campaigners."
Windows

Submission + - Vista Under Fire in Europe

Daeward writes: A coalition of Microsoft's rivals is complaining that the Windows Vista operating system will perpetuate practices found illegal in the European Union nearly three years ago. The group, which includes IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle and Red Hat, said its complaints made last year were yet to be addressed just days before Vista is due for release. "Microsoft has clearly chosen to ignore the fundamental principles of the Commission's March 2004 decision," said Simon Awde, chairman of the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS). Microsoft said it had no comment.
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Mac OS X and Font Smoothing

Piroca writes: Font smoothing in OS X is one of the worst aspects of the system, yet few users dare to complain about it. The rationale behind Quartz font rendering is that anything in the screen should be rendered as they would while printing. Apple decided to turn off font hinting and perform anti-aliasing indiscriminately, thus adding artifacts to horizontal and vertical lines. It happens the end result is that fonts at small sizes are blurry and not very easy to read (which is exactly the opposite result expected from the anti-aliasing strategy, and renders the crispness of LCDs useless). Apple has been heavy-handed about this issue since OS X 10.1 by not acknowledging it and not providing configuration options to turn off anti-aliasing in small fonts while providing font hinting and choices for system fonts (the ubiquitous Lucida Grande is not hinted therefore it looks wrong when anti-aliased) as the old System 9 and Windows do. This situation is unlikely to change anytime soon (Leopard won't do anything about it, at least). For me, this is a problem because I have to develop on OS X and keep starring at blurry fonts the whole day gives me headaches. I'm pretty sure other developers out there have the same problem, therefore here goes my question: what do you do to cope with the troublesome font smoothing in OS X?
Operating Systems

Mac OS X Versus Windows Vista 697

An anonymous reader writes "With Macworld set to start Jan. 8, InformationWeek has a detailed comparison that pits Mac OS X against Vista. According to reviewer John Welch, OS X wins hands down. The important point: he doesn't say Vista is bad, just that technically speaking, OS X remains way ahead. Do you agree?"
Businesses

Submission + - 5 Reasons Apple Has Survived for 30 Years

Gammu writes: Apple turned thirty last year and it has endured and even thrived despite a series of incompetent leaders, poor products and inexplicable business decisions. MacObserver has compiled a list of the top 5 Apple decisions that have allowed the company to survive and grow over thirty years.
Security

Submission + - Image Spam Becoming a Growing Challenge

An anonymous reader writes: Image spam is a serious and growing problem, not least because of its ability to circumvent traditional email spam filters to clog servers and inboxes. In just half a year, the problem of image spam has become general enough to be representative of 35 per cent of all junk mail. Not only this, but image spam is taking up 70 per cent of the bandwidth bulge on account of the large file sizes every single one represents.
Unix

Submission + - The birth of vi

lanc writes: "Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun, contributor to BSD Unix, the UltraSparc technology, NFS and even Java, tells the story in an article at TheRegister about how he wrote vi and what the motives were. In the interview he says:

"It was really hard to do because you've got to remember that I was trying to make it usable over a 300 baud modem. That's also the reason you have all these funny commands. It just barely worked to use a screen editor over a modem. It was just barely fast enough. A 1200 baud modem was an upgrade. 1200 baud now is pretty slow."

...and so my son begun The Holy Editor War."
Software

Submission + - Open source Flickr-like app?

Zanguinar writes: I've been a Gallery user for years now. I have a ton of photos, organized by albums, mainly just for use by my family and close friends. However, some of my friends have begun using Flickr. I can't say I blame them. It's got a great design, and I love the tagging concept. However, I'm not eager to store my photos on somebody else's server, and don't want to pay for the privilege, especially since I already run my own web server. But I can't find any Flickr-like software to run on my home LAMP setup. All I want is to be able to tag my photos like Flickr and be able to display them by tag, tag intersection, date, etc. Why hasn't anybody published some OSS to do this yet?

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