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Math

Professor Comes Up With a Way to Divide by Zero 1090

54mc writes "The BBC reports that Dr. James Anderson, of the University of Reading, has finally conquered the problem of dividing by zero. His new number, which he calls "nullity" solves the 1200 year old problem that niether Newton nor Pythagoras could solve, the problem of zero to the zero power. Story features video (Real Player only) of Dr. Anderson explaining the "simple" concept."

Vista Security Discussions Get a Rocky Start 111

narramissic writes "A technical glitch Thursday morning prevented many security vendors from participating in the first online discussion regarding Microsoft's plans for opening up the Vista kernel, ITworld reports. In a blog posting on the subject, Microsoft Senior Product Manager Stephen Toulouse wrote, 'We had a glitch where we sent out a messed up link. ... We're very sorry about that, it certainly was not intentional and we definitely see that was not a good thing for people to experience on such an important topic.'"

First Swede Convicted For File-Sharing Now Cleared 278

Caine writes, "A 29-year old Swede, who was the first to be convicted under last year's new file-sharing laws, has been cleared on appeal. The court of appeal did not consider the screen dumps provided by the Antipiracy Bureau enough evidence to be able to convict the man. Since the crime does not carry a high enough punishment under Swedish law to allow for a search of the defendant's house, this means it will be virtually impossible to prove file-sharing crimes in the future."

SGI Announces MIPS and IRIX End of Production 275

ramakant writes "Considering the recent news regarding their dismal financial situation, it should come as no surprise that SGI announced end of production for MIPS based hardware and the IRIX operating system. From the article: "SGI launched the MIPS/IRIX family of products in 1988. Since then, this technology has powered servers, workstations, and visualization systems used extensively in Manufacturing, Media, Science, Government/Defense, and Energy. After nearly two decades of leading the world in innovation and versatility, the MIPS IRIX products will end their general availability on December 29, 2006." IRIX has always been my favored OS, and I'll be sad to see it gone. Hopefully my O2 will survive for many years to come."

Neuroscientist Halts Research to Stop Extremists 1047

FleaPlus writes "UCLA neuroscience professor Dario Ringach, known for his contributions to our understanding of how the visual system processes information, has been forced to give up his experiments by the actions of animal-rights extremists. Although he and his family had endured harassment and vandalization by animal-rights activists for years, Ringach reconsidered after extremists tried to firebomb a colleague's home and accidentally left their Molotov cocktail on an elderly neighbor's doorstep. Ringach sent an email to animal activist groups saying, 'You win... please don't bother my family anymore.'"

Microsoft Admonished by U.S. District Court Judge 178

An anonymous reader writes "The Seattle Times reports that the judge in the z4 'product activation' patent infringement case has increased the jury's original $115 million verdict against Microsoft by $25 million. Both Microsoft and Autodesk (another defendant) were admonished by the judge for misconduct. The judge wrote 'The Court concludes that Defendants attempted to bury the relevant 107 exhibits ... in a massive pile of decoys' and called one failure to disclose evidence 'an intentional attempt by Defendants to mislead z4 and this Court.'"

Microsoft Flubs Patch, Putting Users At Risk 209

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is rushing to fix a flaw introduced by the company's latest security update to Internet Explorer. From the article: 'The flaw, initially thought to only crash Internet Explorer, actually allows an attacker to run code on computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 that have applied the August cumulative update to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, security firm eEye Digital Security asserted. The update, released on August 8, fixed eight security holes but also introduced a bug of its own, according to Marc Maiffret, chief hacking officer for the security firm, which notified Microsoft last week that the issue is exploitable.'"

Microsoft COO Warns Google Away From Corp Search 315

Forbes is reporting on comments made by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, concerning the corporate search business. At a company conference in Boston, Turner referred to the enterprise search business as 'our house', and warned Google to stay out. From the article: "Those people are not going to be allowed to take food off our plate, because that is what they are intending to do ... Enterprise search is our business, it's our house and Google is not going to take that business"

RIAA Case Against Mother Dismissed 236

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Capitol Records v. Foster, in federal court in Oklahoma, a case against a mother -- whose only connection to the alleged filesharing was that she was the person who paid for the internet access -- has been dismissed with prejudice. Faced with the mother's motion for leave to file a summary judgment motion dismissing the case against her, and awarding her attorneys fees, the RIAA made its own motion for permission to withdraw its case. The Court granted the motion and let the RIAA drop its case. The Court went on to hold that the defendant, Ms. Foster, is the 'prevailing party' under the Copyright Act and is therefore eligible for an award of attorneys fees. The Court then indicated that it would decide the attorneys fees award question upon receipt of a motion for attorneys fees."

EU Fines for Microsoft Approved, Off the Record 692

mattaw writes "The Register is carrying a report that all 25 member states of the EU have found Microsoft guilty of non-compliance, off the record. Microsoft is in line for a fine of $2.51 million per day backdated to December 15th 2004 for failing to meet the terms of the EU commission's ruling."

How can a Developer Estimate Times? 227

SubliminalVortex wonders: "Many times in the past, I have been asked on 'how long' it would take to implement a certain features/fixes in a product. What's interesting is that many times, certain 'fixes' is adjusting the wording/placement of the items in question; in other cases, users want the product to do everything they ever imagined, since it already started by following their line of thought. From there, the problem continues. From the user interface, people 'imagine' and think that 'oh, it would be easy if...' and scenarios occur, not only internally from the company using the product, but the clients themselves. Usually, several good ideas are there, but estimating times is a pain in the arse if you have a platform you're writing code for which has no documentation. How do coders estimate times to their bosses? If I know the answer outright, I'll give it, but in some cases, I don't how much time I'll take from other developers *because of the lack of documentation*. I'm going to have to bring in my D&D dice next week just to start."

Microsoft/Yahoo! Merger a Good Idea? 186

NorbMan writes "Last month there was speculation about Microsoft's interest in joining forces with Yahoo! to battle Google. Today, a Merrill Lynch analyst recommended a Yahoo! takeover by Microsoft. From the article: "A Yahoo/MSN-Microsoft combination would have garnered approximately 41% share in the US of search queries [in April] versus Google with 44%.""

Improving Noise Analysis with the Sound of Silence 54

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at Rockefeller University have built a mathematical method and written an algorithm based on the way our ears process sound that provides a better way to analyze noise than current methods. Not only is their algorithm faster and more accurate than previous ones used in speech recognition or in seismic analysis, it's also based on a very non-intuitive fact: they know what a sound was by knowing when there was no sound. 'In other words, their pictures were being determined not by where there was volume, but where there was silence.' The researchers think that their algorithm can be used in many applications and that it will soon give computers the same acuity as human ears. Read more for additional references and pictures about this algorithm."

Oblivion Patch Causing Issues 68

The much anticipated patch for Oblivion is here, but it has come at a cost. 1up reports on complaints from users about lockups, lagging, and some curious technical problems. From the article: "Even though the patch cleans up a number of glitches quests, many are still upset because it doesn't solve their existing issues. If you've already run into and experienced a glitch quest, there's a good chance the patch will do nothing to fix it; the patch can't fix contaminated saves. Consequently, Bethesda employees have been recommending fans start new characters if they want to experience these quests."

Redemption Still Possible For Sony? 122

Gamasutra reports on the slim chance that Sony may still be able to redeem itself from its poor showing at E3. In a new 'Analyze This' column, they ask a group of analysts how things are for Sony today. From the article: "In spite of the higher than expected price points, we still expect the PS3 to be in high demand from early adopters at launch. But Sony must put more effort into differentiating its games from those of rival platforms, both in terms of original compelling titles as well as overall quality. Otherwise, later adopters will not be persuaded that the PS3 has anything more to offer. Sony must clearly also address its relative weakness in online, where Microsoft has a substantial lead."

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