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Comment Re:Microsoft and open source (Score 1) 333

You made me actually click the links and search, thus, as a ms office evangelist you did well indeed (given that the last version of ms office I bothered to obtain a "decentralised backup copy" was office2k)
But all my search left me empty handed, there still is no ms office/debian edition or some such.
As a x-plattform user with a debian/kde desktop, a win7 laptop, a mac mini for the music I really appreciate that there are oss apps that are available on all of my plattforms and they look and work just the same where ever I use them. Open/Libre office. Thunderbird. ff/chrome/opera for browsing. The list does'nt end here.
MS has changed it's mood and modi operandi vs oss quite a bit over the past 5 years (insert the gandhi meme here if you like) and they even did that u-turn to change msie into a standards-aware security-aware and almost decent browser - but not running on my desktop.

Comment Re:Muggles (Score 1) 282

given all the rules and conditions you have to fullfill to get the cache approved in a densly populated area (with lots of other caches around) the IRA/loonies will probably shy away from the trouble and rather put the bomb in a waste bin or in a car like everyone else does...

Comment They do in Germany (Score 2) 282

I never saw it stated somewhere officially but my own experience points to the conclusion that indeed Berlin police checks on Caches listed on There is one in Berlin ( by the name "BrandVerein" which would translate to FireAssociation. The name actually is a hint to the cache's location, if you go there, it's obvious.
Still, that name hit a spot with the police since for some years there is this series of expensive cars burning at night and lots of pressure on the cops for not being able to stop the serial igniter(s).
So, the first day the cache was published 2 searchers there found themselves under surveillance when they followed the gps compass. An officer stepped out of the car, to the exact koords of the cache and told them to go on searching. When they found the box, the officer took a look, approved it for being harmless, wished them good luck and left the scene.
Cool and efficient


40 Million Year Old Primate Fossils Found In Asia 91

sosaited writes "It has been widely believed that our ancestors originated out of Africa, but a paper published in Nature by Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists puts this in doubt. The paper is based on the fossils of four primate species found in Asia which are 40 million years old, during which period Africa was thought to not have these species. The diversity and timing of the new anthropoids raises two scenarios. Anthropoids might simply have emerged in Africa much earlier than thought, and gone undiscovered by modern paleontologists. Or they could have crossed over from Asia, where evidence suggests that anthropoids lived 55 million years ago, flourishing and diversifying in the wide-open ecological niches of an anthropoid-free Africa."

Doubled Yield For Bio-Fuel From Waste 97

hankwang writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor of two compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.

Submission + - What to Do If Your Computer Is Infected (

trompyx writes: "Sometimes even an experienced user will not realise that a computer is infected with a virus. This is because viruses can hide among regular files, or camoflage themselves as standard files. This section contains a detailed discussion of the symptoms of virus infection, how to recover data after a virus attack and how to prevent data from being corrupted by malware. Symptoms of infection There are a number of symptoms which indicate that your computer has been infected. If you notice "strange things" happening to your computer, namely: * unexpected messages or images are suddenly displayed * unusual sounds or music played at random * your CD-ROM drive mysteriously opens and closes * programs suddenly start on your computer * you receive notification from your firewall that some applications have attempted to connect to the Internet, although you did not initiate this, then it is very likely that your computer has been infected by a virus"
Operating Systems

Submission + - A case against Microsoft Windows (

Ian MacGregor writes: "Please consider the following articles:

This article at Information Week:
Microsoft Trial Misconduct Cost $40 Million
The judge who banned Microsoft from selling its Word document program in the U.S. due to a patent violation tacked an additional $40 million onto a jury's $200 million verdict because the software maker's lawyers engaged in trial misconduct, court records reveal.

Read more ...

This article at The Register:
Microsoft opened Linux-driver code after 'violating' GPL
Microsoft was in violation of the GPL (General Public License) on the Hyper-V code it released to open source this week.

After Redmond covered itself in glory by opening up the code, it now looks like it may have acted simply to head off any potentially embarrassing legal dispute over violation of the GPL. The rest was theater.

Read more ...

This article at Fedora Forums:
Why does everyone say that Microsoft is so Evil?
Windows is closed-source and that source is a closely guarded secret. Due to this fact, there is no telling what the OS is doing with your information behind your back — especially an OS that is made and distributed by an untrustworthy corporation. I wonder how often Windows sends the users' personal and private information back to Microsoft.

Read more ...

This article at
Standards as a means of sabotage
Then there are the really nasty deviations from global standards that Microsoft has deliberately introduced to sabotage interoperability and freedom of choice. Take HTML and Java for example. The Frontpage web editor, the IIS webserver and the various backend E-commerce products all generate proprietary extensions to HTML and scripting languages that only Internet Explorer on Windows will handle correctly, and renders all other web browsers and platforms unusable. The same goes for Java support: Microsoft Java does not follow the Java specifications. Again this means that applets in this particular dialect can only be executed by Microsoft's own Java engine on Windows. Yet Microsoft used the Java label for products that were incompatible with the Java standard. This caused Sun to file suit. Microsoft then dropped the global Java standard entirely and now only supports their own Java dialect. The net result of this whole procedure is that Microsoft web server products and development tools generate code that needs Windows, Internet Explorer and the Microsoft Java engine at the user end in order to work properly.

Read more ...

This article at Federal Computer Week:
Navy to focus only on open systems
Vice Adm. Mark Edwards, deputy chief of naval operations for communications, broke the news March 5 to a Navy IT Day audience in Vienna, Va., sponsored by AFCEA International.

"The days of proprietary technology must come to an end," he said. "We will no longer accept systems that couple hardware, software and data."

Read more ...

This article at Computer Weekly:
Microsoft breach is bad news for users
The fact that an outsider gained access to Microsoft's inner sanctum should cause grave, however, concern. "This is bound to send shivers down the spines of corporate IT executives," said Gary Cooper, director of research at analyst firm Butler Group. "If I was the director of a company that uses IT extensively, I would want my IT director in front of me to explain why it won't happen to me."

Read more ...

This article at Ian's Thoughts:
Why are Linux and Mac OS X safer?
Unfortunately, running as root (or Administrator) is common in the Windows world. In fact, Microsoft is still engaging in this risky behavior. Windows XP, supposedly Microsoft's most secure desktop operating system, automatically makes the first named user of the system an Administrator, with the power to do anything he wants to do on the computer. The reasons for this decision boggle the mind. With all the lost money and productivity over the last decade caused by countless Microsoft-borne viruses and worms, you'd think the company could have changed its procedures in this area, but this is not the case.

Read more ...

This article at Ian's Thoughts:
Why I use Linux
Most linux software applications are open-source, meaning anyone can freely obtain the source code. The main benefits of this are that anyone can audit the code for bugs and security issues, change the code and redistribute the code or submit patches. If there were code in a closed-source software application, like most Windows apps, that captured your every keystroke (ie name, DOB, SSN, credit card info, etc) and sent that information to a 3rd party, the user would likely never know it was happening. If this type of malicious code were in an open-source application the community would more than likely be alerted because the code can be audited by anyone.

Read more ...

This article at IT World:
What is a Botnet anyway?
So, to start with his question, Botnets are networks of Windows PC's, which have been taken over by malware programs. While it's theoretically possible that a Mac or a Linux desktop PC could get a botnet malware bug, in practice, their better security makes them harder targets for botnet creators so they avoid them.

Read more ...

This article at REICHEL.NET:
Our Linux Top 10 Reasons
Security — Linux is Open Source Software, while Windows is not. The simplest benefits of Open Source Code to demonstrate are increased security, reliability and functionality; because users of Open Source are readily able to identify and correct problems with the programs and to submit their own enhancements for incorporation into the program. Closed Source systems enjoy none of those benefits.

Read more ...

This article at Cityblogger:
101 reasons why Linux is better than Windows
Did you know that in Windows, there is built in back-door entry so US government can see you data as and when they like? Yes the US NSA has the key build into every copy of Windows. In linux there is no such thing possible as the operating system is open source and can easily be detected and disabled.

Read more ...

This article at heise online:
How NSA access was built into Windows
Two weeks ago, a US security company came up with conclusive evidence that the second key belongs to NSA. Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5. He found that Microsoft's developers had failed to remove or "strip" the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called "KEY". The other was called "NSAKEY".

Read more ...

This article at Ian's Thoughts:
What is linux?
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system and is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development: typically all underlying source code can be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone. The name "Linux" comes from the Linux kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The system's utilities and libraries usually come from the GNU operating system.

Linux is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, supercomputers, video game systems, and embedded devices such as mobile phones, and routers.

Read more ...

I think it's time the world of computer users thought seriously about switching computer operating systems. I have been using a linux operating system since 2001 and haven't found any need to touch Microsoft Windows. I know folks who use linux at home and in their businesses and they are quite happy with the results. I even know some grade school kids who use linux as their sole operating system at home.

Which Linux distribution is right for you?

Top 10 most widely-used linux distributions, according to DistroWatch:

Ubuntu — Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need — a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more. Ubuntu can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

OpenSUSE — openSUSE is a free and Linux-based operating system for your PC, Laptop or Server. You can surf the web, manage your e-mails and photos, do office work, play videos or music and have a lot of fun! OpenSUSE can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Fedora — Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join. Fedora can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Debian — Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux. Debian can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Mandriva — Mandriva is a free software company, publishing Mandriva Linux, an open source operating system aimed at individuals and companies. Mandriva can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Linux Mint — Linux Mint's purpose is to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution. Linux Mint can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

PCLinuxOS — PCLinuxOS was founded in October 2003. The flagship product, the PCLinux operating system, is a free, easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for the home. PCLinuxOS was founded by Texstar, and is headquartered in Houston, Tx. PCLinuxOS can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Slackware — The Official Release of Slackware Linux by Patrick Volkerding is an advanced Linux operating system, designed with the twin goals of ease of use and stability as top priorities. Including the latest popular software while retaining a sense of tradition, providing simplicity and ease of use alongside flexibility and power, Slackware brings the best of all worlds to the table. Slackware can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Gentoo — We produce Gentoo Linux, a special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme performance, configurability and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience. Gentoo can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

CentOS — CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.) CentOS can be downloaded and installed free of cost or activation.

Of the above linux distros, I have used Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Mandriva, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, Slackware and CentOS. My personal favorite is Ubuntu, because it's the easiest to learn and use, but have found that Mandriva and CentOS are also easy to use.

The above linux distributions are the top ten most widely-used by Linux users around the world according to DistroWatch and is by no means an exhaustive list. DistroWatch has a lengthy list of linux distros and I encourage every Windows user to check them out."

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