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Submission + - Towel Day this Friday May 25th

Ploum writes: "Like each year, May 25th is the Towel Day ! Carry your towel everywhere with you to show the world that you are a true galactic hitchhiker. If someone ask you why you are carrying a towel, just reply that it might be useful if you encounter a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal is a creature that will eat anything. If you are to encounter one you should wrap a towel around your head. This creature is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it assumes that if you can't see it, then it can't see you.

In any case, DON'T PANIC !"

Submission + - 2nd Open Discussion Day this May 19th

Ploum writes: "Like announced by Peter Saint-Andre, president of the Jabber Software Fundation, May 19th will be the 2nd Open Discussion Day. For one day, participants will use only open protocols (like SIP, Jabber, Google Talk) and refuse to send or receive files in a closed format.

Warn your contacts on your closed networks or, better, help them to create a open account on an open network and enjoy the openness.

The first Open Discussion Day was held in 2006 and was a success. Popular Jabber servers like or closed their MSN/ICQ/AOL gateways for one day. The announcement was translated in more than 10 languages and it was reported that a lot of users definitively dropped MSN/ICQ/AOL to use Jabber."
NES (Games)

Submission + - Crystal Space 1.0 and the future of OSS games

Amir Taaki writes: In recent days a landmark release for Crystal Space has been reached with a 1.0 release after 10 years of development. With CEL and the tools of celstart and blender2crystal, as has been seen at the recent blender conference, amazing results can be achieved quickly making the turnaround for developing games very fast.

What does this mean for the future of making OSS games- a typically lagging behind area compared to commercial software? With the concentration of development on one core set of generic tools this means that innovative ideas can be quickly be churned out.

With the recent verse and OpenSoundControl additions, this opens up more possibilities for collaborative gaming between artists and gamers- coupled with the great blender support this opens many intruiging possibilities.

Submission + - The Contradictory Nature of OOXML

Andy Updegrove writes: "OOXML, the Microsoft Office XML-based format specification, is now in the adoption queue at ISO/IEC. That process takes six months, and has two steps. During the first one-month step, any member may submit "contradictions," which, loosely defined,means aspects in which a proposed standard conflicts with already adopted ISO/IEC standards and Directives. Those contradictions must then be "resolved" (which does not necessarily mean eliminated), and these resolutions are then presented back to the members to consider during the five-month voting stage that follows. One month isn't very long to do a line-by-line analysis of a spec that's over 6,000 pages long, but experts in the national standards bodies around the world are doing just that. What they are finding includes the use of proprietary, hard-wired elements rather than incorporation of available ISO/IEC standards; additional Microsoft technology that must be emulated (but is not covered by the Microsoft patent pledge); elements that can't be implemented without Microsoft technical assistance; dependencies on Windows itself; mandatory bugs and more. And then there's also the fact that OOXML heavily overlaps ODF — a platform-independent, already-adopted ISO/IEC. It promises to be an interesting battle indeed."

Submission + - E.T. can't have found us... yet!

kasparn writes: "The Guardian today has a story about the Danish astrophysicist Rasmus Bjoerk, who recently has conducted simulations of how long it will take to colonize the Milky Way. The basic idea is to send out 8 probes in different directions (including various heights above the galactic plane). These probes should travel at a speed of 10 % the speed of light or 30,000 km/s. If each probe caries 8 mini-probes, each designed to investigate a stellar system, it is found that it will take somewhat 10 billion years to explore 4 % of the Milky Way. Since the age of the Universe is of the same order the conclusion must be that aliens can't have had time to find us yet! And that is ignoring the fact that they should have developed into a more advanced civilization than the human race less than 5 billion years after the Big Bang.
These new findings might be tweaked e.g. by adding the number of probes and so on (see the scientific paper in pre-print for more details) but the main conclusions are nonetheless still quite clear; E.T. can't have found us yet and it will be a while until we find him — if ever."

Submission + - One step closer to removing Microsoft Office

An anonymous reader writes: After 10 months of development Docvert 3.0 was released today. This open source web service converts DOC files to Oasis OpenDocument 1.0, and then to HTML, RSS, or any XML format. Try the ODF demo or download the source and install it on your own box. Version 3.0 comes with an MS Word Plugin, FTP/WebDAV upload, and an in-browser document editor.
User Journal

Journal Journal: French WoW player reaches level 70 in 28 hours

A die-hard World of Warcraft player has reached level 70 within 28 hours of The Burning Crusade's release. Gullerbone, a 24-year-old French WoW player, reached level 70 at 4:04 am (CET) on January 17, 2007. He is believed to be the world's first. The fact that a player has managed to reach level 70 so fast will not please developers Blizzard, who had hoped to see th

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