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Submission + - USC Deploys Google Apps For Students

apok04 writes: A new partnership between USC and Google will bring convenience and new opportunities for online collaboration to USC students. The tools provided to students include Gmail (2 GB), integrated chat and applications for calendaring and document and spreadsheet production. The program is called Google Apps For Education, and is hosted by Google.

Is Google making a play for an environment traditionally controlled by Microsoft? Maybe. Are there privacy concerns since the service is being controlled by an outside organization? Of course.

But as a USC grad student in engineering (among the first to try these out), I must say I am glad to have platform-independent collaboration tools for use in my group projects.

Submission + - OpenSource Ethernet Sniffing Project Abandoned

mikeeusa2 writes: The free/opensource switched ethernet lan sniffer, Ettercap, had been confirmed abandoned by one of it's programmers:

From The developer "NaGA" Subject: Re: LibNet nolonger works well with ettercap, many users (All?) hit into this error due to newer libnet installations. Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 09:43:02 +0200 (CEST) Ettercap support has been dropped 2 years ago. Sorry, but there won't be any change for this. If someone finds a solution for this by his own, we will pleased to add the patch on the website for download.

A fork is needed to continue this useful project.

Submission + - Fault line found under Yucca Mountain

ApharmdB writes: The plan for a spent nuclear fuel repository at Yucca mountain has been thrown for a loop. The believed known location of a nearby fault line was wrong and it has now been found to run directly under a storage pad in the planned facility. The state of Nevada has long opposed the project on geologic instability grounds (no pun intended), so what will this mean for the future of the facility?
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun Microsystems quits GSA multiple award contract (

beetle496 writes: "From TFA:

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced Friday that it is canceling its multiple award schedule contract with the General Services Administration amid an ongoing investigation into the contract’s renewal and the company’s pricing for information technology products and services.
The article hints at scandal, but I am betting that the problem is more likely incompetence and prejudicial Windows-centric contract vehicles that make it all but impossible for Sun to compete. How hard is it to believe that Lurita Doan could be one of the rare bureaucrats that understands technology (more so than Brian Miller and the three underlings she vetoed)?"

User Journal

Journal SPAM: Kuro5hin 4

have you been thinking about signing up at Kuro5hin for a while but just never decided to commit? Well, it'll cost you $S to do it now. (that's a joke - the S - not the five bucks part. Actually it is a joke. the k5 is dieing stuff may finally come true.)

I'm hoping rusty raises it to a hundred bucks then I've just got to get someone to believe that my account is a bargain at fifty. I've made all of 2 comments in the years I've had it.


Submission + - Why adopt Python to manage UNIX systems

An anonymous reader writes: As a system administrator, you run across numerous challenges and problems. Managing users, disk space, processes, devices, and backups can cause many system administrators to lose their hair, good humor, or sanity. Shell scripts can help, but they often have frustrating limitations. This is where a full-featured scripting language, such as Python, can turn a tedious task into an easy one. Python is a scripting language that looks like it was made for system administrators.

Submission + - Review: Parallels Desktop vs. VMWare Fusion (

nsayer writes: A very, very long time ago, I used VMWare (before it was named VMWare Desktop) under the Linuxulator on FreeBSD to run Windows 2000 for the occasional windows-only application. But when MacOS X came out, I rather quickly bought a mac and have become an almost exclusive Mac user. But, as before, there would be an occasional need to run something that was Windows only, so I suffered with Virtual PC. When I upgraded to my first Intel mac, I switched over to Parallels Desktop, and, as before, have been using it to run the occasional Windows app under Windows XP. When I tried the first VMware Fusion public beta, all it did reliably was crash my machine, so I didn't really pay attention to VMWare after that. But suffice to say that I have used virtualization and/or emulation technology almost continuously since its inception.

Skip forward to a couple weeks ago and I heard about VMWare's pre-release special pricing offer for a copy of Fusion. This is the first point to bring up — the price of virtualization software has come way down. I believe that's in part to the competition that now exists in the space between Parallels and VMWare. And that's a very good thing. I don't remember what I paid originally for that first copy of VMWare so long ago, but I believe it was north of $150. I bought my copy of Fusion for $39. Vive le competition.

Both offerings have very similar feature sets. Both install special 'helper' software within your Windows guest operating system to facilitate things like video resizing (if you drag the Windows window larger or switch to full screen mode, both will resize the video area accordingly), mouse pointer sharing, drag and drop file copying, clock synchronization, etc. Both support some type of "undo" functionality that allows you to take a snapshot of the guest as it is now and at some future point revert back to the snapshot if something goes wrong. Both have a mechanism for running Windows programs in their own windows along side your mac apps (hiding the Windows desktop). Fusion calls this Unity, Parallels calls it Coherence. In those areas, it's pretty much a tie.

Both offer software that you can install on Windows either on a physical computer or on some other virtualized environment that will copy out the Windows installation and make a new virtual machine out of it. Here, I give Parallels a slight edge because the VMWare solution is actually hidden on their website and is actually designed for their enterprise products (but happens to work for Fusion). Also, since VMWare guests use ACPI and Parallels guests don't, you wind up with some virtual hardware quirks that require reinstalling Windows to completely clear up (Windows XP doesn't support switching from a standard PC to an ACPI PC without reinstalling. But you don't have to wipe the disk, you can just reinstall Windows itself, painful though that is). Since Windows tends to accumulate a lot of cruft in the registry anyway, a clean reinstall isn't a bad idea in any event. But if you have a lot of software that you don't want to have to put back on, you don't have to.

VMWare guests can run with both cores of your multi-core CPU (if applicable), Parallels guests are uniprocessor only. Unless the Windows software you use is heavily threaded, I'm not sure you'll notice too much difference there. Both systems seem to me to be responsive when dealing with typical interactive software.

Both systems support acceleration of 3D API calls, however my mac of choice is the Intel mac mini. VMWare doesn't support acceleration on the integrated Intel 950 chipset. I don't typically play 3D games, but I did try BZFlag under parallels when the 3D support was announced. I was able to get more or less the same frame rate as when I ran the native OS X BZFlag client. I haven't repeated this test with VMWare, however. If 3D games are your reason for booting Windows, then perhaps Parallels might be a better choice right now.

Both systems allow you to suspend the guest and resume it. In both cases, the normal Windows APM/ACPI suspend/hibernate functionality is avoided. Instead, the guest is simply halted in its tracks and upon resumption, the virtualization tools fix the clock and other sorts of things. VMWare's guest tools allow you to set up scripts that will run at suspend and resume time. But the big difference I've noticed is that when I resume a Parallels guest, the entire machine (both guest and host) seem to be mired in a tar pit for about a minute. From what I can tell, it's probably paging the guest in from a memory mapped file. But there is no indication of what it's doing or how long it will take. By contrast, when suspending or resuming a VMWare guest, there is a progress bar to let you know how much time is left, and when the resume process is done, the machine responds instantly at full speed. VMWare wins this one hands down.

One application I use under Windows is the Netflix WatchNow client. When you watch video in it under Parallels, you can often see tearing effects. Presumably these are caused by a lack of synchronization between the refresh rate of the host's monitor and the guest's virtual frame buffer. Whatever the cause, it can be quite annoying. But VMWare doesn't have that problem. Score another victory for them.

Another differentiation in behavior is when playing You Don't Know Jack: The Ride. Under parallels, this game has choppy, stuttery audio and often pauses for seemingly no reason. Under VMWare, it works perfectly. It's only an anecdote, and it's not a show-stopper for me, but it's nudge in VMWare's direction.

So in the end, I have to give the victory to Fusion. For a 1.0 product, it's more than just a strong contender, it's the clear victor. Can Parallels catch up? Sure, but given how long they've had a mac product, it's surprising that they need to.


Submission + - Linux Network Access per User 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "I'd like to offer shell access to my users, but have been surprised at the lack of restrictions that I can place on them. Disk space quotas are trivial. But what about bandwidth quotas? What about allowing listening but not outgoing sockets, or perhaps the other way around? Disallowing net access for certain groups? I've found no way to do these things, and the 'ports over 1024' restriction for regular users simply doesn't cut it these days.

I should think that my users could be allowed to run their own server programs if so desired without being allowed to run rampant. It seems that I can either block >1024 incoming at the firewall, or let it be abused.

What would you do?"

Submission + - Nimoy Seeks to Affect Cultural Views on Body Image

NewsCloud writes: "Leonard Nimoy seems to be asking Americans to boldly go and explore our cultural stereotypes and biases in an upcoming photography book on full-bodied women.

For the last eight years, Mr. Nimoy, who is 76 and an established photographer, has been snapping pictures of plus-size women in all their naked glory. "The average American woman, according to articles I've read, weighs 25 percent more than the models who are showing the clothes they are being sold," Mr. Nimoy said. "So, most women will not be able to look like those models. But they're being presented with clothes, cosmetics, surgery, diet pills, diet programs, therapy, with the idea that they can aspire to look like those people. It's a big, big industry. Billions of dollars. And the cruelest part of it is that these women are being told, 'You don't look right.' "

Submission + - Myspace eliminates "Gay" option

ishboo writes: "Just recently myspace abolished the option to select "Gay" as a sexual preference in your profile while still leaving bi and lesbian. This comes form chairman of News Corps. (Myspace's parent company) Rupert Murdoch who made this choice based on "Personal Family Values" who has a history of being accused of being homophobic. ity_of_users_to_0503.html"
United States

Submission + - Getting out of IT, where to start?

cavtroop writes: I've been doing IT for almost 12 years now, with the typical progression: pc support, server support, network support, etc. I used to love my job, and look forward to coming into work, learning something new, and surmounting challenging obstacles. After years of doing this and that in IT, I'm now an IT Generalist, and finding a job is getting tougher and tougher — most hiring managers are looking for subject matter experts. My lack of a degree (I joined the military, and went straight to work after that) is also beginning to hinder me greatly.

I've been giving some thought to getting out of IT lately. I find I no longer enjoy my work — most of the work I do provides little challenge, and I honestly don't remember the last time I learned something new and interesting. With the recent news of IBM possibly laying of 100k people plus (and the years long trend towards out-sourcing), the prospects of ever getting a meaningful IT job again are looking dim.

I think its time to hit the eject button on my IT career. But where to begin? I tried searching for a career counselor, but most of the hits were shady fly by night places, or people that just want to sell you a book.

Has anyone out there in /. land had a similar experience? What can I expect, and where can I start? Any tips, etc would be beneficial.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Part of ZFS already under GPLv2

juskeeper writes: "According to this sun blogger already_exists,in order to allow GRUB to boot root partition formatted with ZFS filesystem,Sun has put part of ZFS's source code into their GRUB source tree,thus make them under GPLv2 license,although RAID-Z and userland tools(probably the most substantial part) are not there yet."

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