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Operating Systems

Submission + - ReactOS - The Desktop Operating System Revolution (reactos.org) 1

frik85 writes: "With yesterdays release, ReactOS got nearly 100% binary and API compatible with Win2003 (NT 5.2). And they are aiming for full Vista (NT 6) compatibility.
The ReactOS Win32 subsystem is in the beginning of a total overhaul to make it completely compatible with NT5 and it has had a positive impact on stability and compatibility with Win32 applications. As a generic result of these internal changes, the system feels a lot more stable in comparison to previous releases. ReactOS ships with a bunch of open source default drivers for various hardware devices and of course support for third party NT 5 drivers.
A download utility (unofficially called "ReactOS Package Manager") now contains a set of applications (opensource and shareware apps) which you can install right away in ReactOS with one click of a mouse. And those apps will actually work!
Fresh ReactOS screenshots say more than written words!"

Software

Submission + - No gnu/linux love from ID software (beyond3d.com) 1

gnarlin writes: "According to golem.de's article (in German) ID software will no longer be porting their games to gnu/linux starting with the new Rage game being developed. Another article at beyond3d has the details in english. Is this due to lack of sales? This seems to be a major blow to gnu/linux gamers everywhere, especially when gnu/linux users are finally getting good Free software drivers for AMD's/ATI's graphic chips."
Data Storage

Submission + - Why are tape drives not scaling with hard disks? 4

An anonymous reader writes: Every 3-6 months, we see an announcement about something adding to hard disk storage. However, tape drives don't seem to be improving on anywhere near the scale of hard disks.

Why is this? Both are magnetic media, and with a tape drive, a manufacturer has far more space to put data on than the platters of a hard disk, and still leave plenty of space for error correction data. Tape drives also don't spin nearly as fast as hard disks, so tolerances involved can be less.
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Complaint Dismissed as "Boilerplate"

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The decision many lawyers had been expecting — that the RIAA's "boilerplate" complaint fails to state a claim for relief under the Copyright Act — has indeed come down, but from an unlikely source. While the legal community has been looking towards a Manhattan case, Elektra v. Barker, for guidance, a case in which amicus briefs had been submitted by various industry groups and the US Department of Justice (see case file, and from Warner v. Cassin, a similar motion in the same Court's Westchester division, the decision instead came from Senior District Court Judge Rudi M. Brewster of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, in a decision denying a default judgment (i.e. the defendant had not even appeared in the action). Judge Brewster not only denied the default judgment motion but dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. Echoing the words of Judge Karas at the oral argument in Barker , Judge Brewster held (pdf) that "Plaintiff here must present at least some facts to show the plausibility of their allegations of copyright infringement against the Defendant. However, other than the bare conclusory statement that on "information and belief" Defendant has downloaded, distributed and/or made available for distribution to the public copyrighted works, Plaintiffs have presented no facts that would indicate that this allegation is anything more than speculation. The complaint is simply a boilerplate listing of the elements of copyright infringement without any facts pertaining specifically to the instant Defendant. The Court therefore finds that the complaint fails to sufficiently state a claim upon which relief can be granted and entry of default judgment is not warranted.""
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - You can not reverse-engineer our GPL-violations... 6

phorm writes: "If appears that Monsoon Technology, the makers of the Hava media-transmission systems, don't quite understand the GPL. As some users pointed out in their forums, their systems appear to be based on Linux and various GPL'ed software, with the output of "strings" and other tests showing signs of running busybox and others. A monsoon spokesperson on the forum has indicated that they are aware it uses GPL'ed software, and are "working" on making source available, but at the same time are dropping various threats against supposed reverse-engineering of the software by those that determined the GPL violations.

A few snippets from the Monsoon rep include: I have a little secret to let you in on — HAVA runs Linux! Yes, much of the source is GPL and we should publish those sections which we have modified per the terms of GPL. A project is underway to pull this together. A couple of observations — some of you appear to be violating the terms of the End User License Agreement

You recognize and agree that the HAVA Software including its structure, source code and the design and structure of modules or programs, constitute valuable trade secrets owned by Snappymultimedia or its licensors. You will not copy or use the HAVA Software except as expressly permitted by this EULA and, specifically, you will not ...

(b) yourself or through any third party modify, reverse engineer, disassemble or decompile the HAVA Software in whole or part, except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law, and then only after you have notified Snappymultimedia in writing of your intended activities; Seems to me that some of you have just come out blatantly admitting you are reverse engineering the firmware — or trying to. How should we handle this? As responses have indicated, the methods used to determine the violation do not seem to constitute reverse-engineering. Moreover, the initial friendliness of the rep is severely marred by the apparent hostility of the later message, as forum members have indicated. The overall message seems to be "we have not lived up to our obligations under the license of the software which we are using, but we'll get to it... sometime. Meanwhile, do not attempt to poke around our code yourself or things will get ugly."

The owners of BusyBox have been notified of this violation, however the response is still troubling. Is this the response we should come to expect as more and more commercial software uses and misuses GPL'ed components?"

The Internet

Submission + - Public rallies behind free wireless broadband

thefickler writes: A proposal to deliver free wireless broadband to 95% of the US population is finding public support, even as it looks like it will be rejected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to the company behind the proposal, M2Z Networks, more than 1000 people from 49 states have written to the FCC in an attempt to reverse a draft order by FCC Chairman Martin that is believed to deny the application.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Doctor Who goes on hiatus for a year (bbc.co.uk)

BigBadBus writes: "Looks like Dr.Who fans will have to go without their hero in 2009 after the BBC revealed the Time Lord will take a gap year. Might be a good idea considering the unpopular choice of Catherine Tate as the new companion. However, to please die-hard Whovians, there will be three specials in 2009."

PC World Editor Resigns When Ordered Not to Criticize Advertisers 327

bricko noted a story of our modern journalism world gone so wrong it makes me sad. "Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken quit abruptly today because the company's new CEO, Colin Crawford, tried to kill a story about Apple and Steve Jobs." The link discusses that the CEO was the former head of MacWorld and would get calls from Jobs. Apparently he also told the staff that product reviews had to be nicer to vendors who advertise in the magazine. The sad thing is that given the economics of publishing in this day and age, I doubt anything even comes of this even tho it essentially confirms that PC World reviews should be thought of as no more than press releases. I know that's how I will consider links from them in the future. But congratulations to anyone willing to stick to their guns on such matters.
Software

Submission + - GnuCash now available for Windows

keeblerelf writes: Open source personal and small-business financial accounting software GnuCash (http://www.gnucash.org/) used to be one of the most difficult programs to install on Linux. If it wasn't included in your distribution of choice, installation probably required compiling and installing around 20 different dependencies... not fun.

Until recently, a Windows version seemed unlikely...

But with beta version 2.1.0, GnuCash is now available in a Windows self-installing executable. I installed it on my wife's Windows laptop yesterday and it seems quite stable for a beta version.

The current stable version (2.0.5) can be installed on Mac OSX using the Fink installer (http://finkproject.org/) or on Debian Linux with "aptitude install gnucash gnucash-docs" (as root of course). GnuCash can also be installed on Ubuntu fairly easily ( http://www.ubuntugeek.com/install-gnucash-financia l-accounting-software-in-ubuntu.html).

GnuCash is a great free program with features that rival its ad-infested, monopoly-owned rivals. Why not try it out?

PS — It looks like now there is a complete suite of open source software that runs on both Windows and Linux. There is OpenOffice.org for an office suite (sans Outlook), Evolution (or Thunderbird with Lightning) for an Outlook replacement, Firefox for a web browser, the GIMP for photo editing, PidginIM for instant messaging (formerly called Gaim, but renamed to avoid a trademark dispute), and now GnuCash for accounting.

If you're thinking about switching to Linux, switching to these applications first could be a great way to prepare yourself and your data for the move.
Software

Submission + - You have copyrighted material in comments

Anonymous Coward writes: "I couldn't figure out where else to let you guys know — One of the commenters has placed this response to the cryptome article- which is covered as a legit copyrighted article that cryptome had to take down due to DMCA action. The damn thing even claims it's copyrighted!

Do whatever you think appropriate.

Re:any good soul? (Score:5, Informative) by rs79 (71822) on Sunday April 29, @12:09PM (#18919109) (http://www.open-rsc.org/) Why bother?

was able to read all of the pages peviously withdrawn with the exception of one (the Irish injunction) in minutes without going to cryptome. The rest of the site can also be found in the usual places.

If people are dumb to know about things like this I suspect we sholdn't go out of our way to tell them.

Here's an excerpt from a document withdrawn in 2001:

UNDERSTANDING AND HELPING INDIVIDUALS WITH HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEMS

LDS Social Services

USE OF THE DOCUMENT

This training document has been prepared for the exclusive use of LDS Social Services to assist staff, interns, and contract providers in their work with individuals having homosexual problems. Because the document is approved only for "in house" use, it should not be reproduced nor distributed to others outside of LDS Social Services. UNDERSTANDING AND HELPING INDIVIDUALS WITH HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEMS HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE For more than 100 years homosexuality has been a topic of scientific and psychotherapy inquiry and debate. Freud and his contemporaries viewed homosexuality as a deviation or "inversion" of natural psychosexual development, the causes of which being as varied and numerous as the theorists espousing them. According to Freud, the deviation resulted primarily from a distorted parent-child relationship which led the child to reject his or her own gender role and identify with the opposite~sexed parent. This view received considerable empirical support later in this century through studies by Irving Bieber and a number of other researchers (Siegelmm, 1987). But! These things hang by a thread. I would posit that people who want them archived should post them to usenet. A lot. In a world where news postings are routinely made into "google ad blogs" there'll be lots of copies on many servers around the world. Some people think you can delete things off the Internet. They are fools. (Note the invalid copyright notice on the above document. You have to say who it's copyrighted by, not just a date. Of course as an excerpt here for academic purposes it's covered by fair use under US copyright law)."
Announcements

Submission + - Sourceforge Changes Hands

eldavojohn writes: "Our beloved Sourceforge has been traded to CollabNet from VA Software (whose Open Source Technology Group (OSTG) operates Slashdot) for an equity stake in Collabnet. Since college, I've used Sourceforge hundreds if not thousands of times to access open source projects or even retrieve precompiled binaries. Either way, it's made my life easier and I hope it remains a free valuable resource."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Pressures Testers After Software Leak

narramissic writes: "ITworld reports that Microsoft is 'taking tough measures to find out who leaked a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Home Server to The Hotfix.net blog.' The software preview was posted on the site by a user named 'Richard' soon after it was released to a small group of testers.

In an e-mail to MVPs whose names contain 'Richard,' Kevin Beares, the Windows Home Server community lead at Microsoft, wrote: 'For right now, you have no access to the beta until I can find the Richard who posted the WHS (Windows Home Server) CTP on this site.... I will work with the Connect Admin team to determine which one of you is the real culprit of this leak.'"
Programming

Submission + - How to get started in OSS?

Anonymous Coward writes: "I know this probably gets asked a lot, but a lazy search of Slashdot did not reveal a quick answer. How does a young and relatively inexperienced programmer get started helping out on an open source software project? Are there good projects to cut your teeth on and learn the ropes before going on to more obscure projects?"

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