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Microsoft

MS Awarded "Best Campaigner Against OOXML" 190

HansF writes "Microsoft itself is the surprise winner of the FFII's Kayak Prize 2007, offered by the FFII in its call for rejection of Microsoft's OOXML standards proposal. The software monopolist is honored as 'Best Campaigner against OOXML Standardization.' FFII president Pieter Hintjens explains, 'We could never have done this by ourselves. By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor their format is. Good standards just don't need that kind of pressure. All together, countries made over ten thousands technical comments, a new world record for an ISO vote. Microsoft made a heroic — and costly — effort to discredit their own proposal, and we're sincerely grateful to them.'" If Microsoft doesn't send a representative to claim their 2500-Euro prize at the FFII General Assembly in November, FFII will give the money to Peruvian earthquake relief.
Microsoft

Submission + - FFII awards Microsoft "Best Campaigner against (noooxml.org) 1

HansF writes: Microsoft itself is the surprise winner of the FFII's "Kayak Prize 2007", offered by the FFII in its OOXML call for rejection of Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) standards proposal. The software monopolist is honored as "Best Campaigner against OOXML Standardization".
FFII president Pieter Hintjens explains, "we could never have done this by ourselves. By pushing so hard to get OOXML endorsed, even to the point of loading the standards boards in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and beyond, Microsoft showed to the world how poor their format is. Good standards just don't need that kind of pressure. All together, countries made over ten thousands technical comments, a new world record for an ISO vote. Microsoft made a heroic — and costly — effort to discredit their own proposal, and we're sincerely grateful to them."

Google

Submission + - DreamHost blocks Google Bot on Shared Hosting - Ho

jsbi writes: DreamHost is supposedly touted as one of the Best web hosting providers by some of it's users[including a few people I know personally of]. But it now seems that it is requiring users to edit the .htaccess file to block GoogleBot from indexing their pages. Are you wondering what the GoogleBot is all about — well it is the Google web crawler that indexes web pages for them to appear on a Google search. It seems that the explanation given by DreamHost is that GoogleBot is a "high memory usage and load on the server" and blocking it seems only the way out. The company has already dispatched off email's to most of it's customers, asking them to make their content unsearchable for spiders and crawlers. I guess the entire move by DreamHost is rather so STUPID!! Instead of them to upgrade its systems to make them more powerful, stable and able to support the crawl process of Googlebot — they ask you shut it down completely. http://jsbi.blogspot.com/2007/05/dreamhost-blocks- google-bot-on-shared.html
Amiga

Submission + - Celebrate Commodore Computer 30th Anniversary

JoeCommodore writes: "This year's East Coast Vintage Computer Festival (June 9th and 10th at the InfoAge Learning Center in Wall Township, New Jersey) will mark the 30th anniversary of Commodore's entry into the computer market in 1977 with the PET computer. Part of the festivities includes a panel discussion with many luminaries of the company.

The story of how it happened and how it evolved is truly legendary in the industry. Above all, the 30th birthday of Commodore's computer division is worth celebrating! This panel discussion (on June 9th) features Chuck Peddle (creator of the 6502 Microprocessor and the PET computer), Bil Herd (designer of later Commodore 8-bit computers from the Plus/4 to the Commodore 128 & LCD), Bob Russell (software engineer — partly responsible for the VIC-20 and Commodore 64), and Dave Haynie (hardware engineer who worked on the Plus/4 series to the Amiga and end of the original Commodore in 1993). The discussion will include an audience Q&A session followed by autograph signings and maybe a few surprises.

Whether you love or hate Commodore they did have a big impact on the industry, the company may not always have been the best managed but they did produce some notably low cost and innovative computers. MOS Technologies (later bought by Commodore) created the low-cost 6502 Processor which helped make personal and hobby computing accessible to many of us either directly or indirectly."
Music

Submission + - "Top 10 Nerdcore rappers of all time" list

Nerdcore For Life! writes: "A website called Hipsterplease.com just posted a great list of the Top 10 Nerdcore Rappers of all time. The site's got pics, bios and links to mp3s and videos of the featured "geeksta" rappers. It's a perfect primer on the world of Nerdcore Hip-Hop and is based on the compiled opinions and suggestions of scores of nerdcore rappers and fans. http://www.hipsterplease.com/2007/04/top-10-nerdco re-artists-of-all-time.html"
Bug

Submission + - Americans more approving of terrorism than Muslims

Flo writes: "[Sorry for the double-submission... I forgot the link *blush*] An interesting study shows how misleading common prejudices can be:

[...] 46 percent of Americans think that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "never justified," while 24 percent believe these attacks are "often or sometimes justified."
[...]Do these findings mean that Americans are closet terrorist sympathizers?
Hardly. Yet, far too often, Americans and other Westerners seem willing to draw that conclusion about Muslims.
"
Spam

Submission + - Fight Image Spam With FuzzyOCR And SpamAssassin

hausmasta writes: "This tutorial describes how to scan emails for image spam with FuzzyOCR. FuzzyOCR is a plugin for SpamAssassin which is aimed at unsolicited bulk mail containing images as the main content carrier. Using different methods, it analyzes the content and properties of images to distinguish between normal mails (ham) and spam mails. FuzzyOCR tries to keep the system load low by scanning only mails that have not already been categorized as spam by SpamAssassin, thus avoiding unnecessary work.

http://www.howtoforge.com/fight_image_spam_with_fu zzyocr_spamassassin"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - NYT: Star reporter is actually a Tape Recorder

Dormant Volcano writes: New York Times Reveals "Reporter" Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder NEW YORK — New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller today announced that the paper's longtime staff writer Michael Gordon is not an actual person, but rather a voice-activated tape recorder. "I'm not sure why everyone didn't figure this out before now," said Keller, pointing to the fact that, in Gordon's 26-year career, all of "his" stories have consisted entirely of transcribed statements by anonymous government officials. According to Jill Abramson, the paper's Managing Editor, Gordon was purchased for $27.95 at a Radio Shack on West 43rd Street. Describing the situation as "a prank" that had "gotten slightly out of hand," Abramson said the paper had decided to acknowledge Gordon's identity because — after the tape recorder's front page story today, "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says" — there "was no place left to take the joke."
Biotech

Blood Vessel Shunt May Save Limbs In War 157

The FDA has just approved for military use a shunt that allows partially-severed limbs to continue to get circulation. The FDA approved the device in a fast-track process lasting only a week. The article notes: "For most, it won't be a matter of saving a limb outright but rather salvaging the quality of a wounded leg or arm... The shunt may save injured limbs from amputation, since it can be implanted on the battlefield to maintain blood flow until a wounded soldier undergoes surgery, FDA officials said. Since the start of the Iraq war, more than 500 soldiers have lost limbs, many to injuries suffered in roadside bombings."
Math

Journal Journal: The math behind "beer goggles" 2

Researchers at Manchester University, among others, have discovered a mathematical formula for calculating the "beer goggles effect" (where people look more attractive after a few beers).

The factors are: how drunk you are, how dark the room is, your eye-sight, the amount of smoke in the air, and how far you are from your "target" (which also explains all those "good from far but far from good" sightings).

Software

The Pirated Software Problem in the 3rd World 252

RockDoctor writes "Dark Reading carries an article by one Nathan Spande who works in Cambodia. Locally he finds that OpenOffice.Org and MS Office are the same price ($2), or $7-20 by downloading. He discusses why the economics of OpenSource don't work in this environment, and how it contributes to global computer security issues through the "little extras" (trojans, spambots and other malware) that typically accompany such "local editions" of software. The economics of software outside the west are very different to what most people are used to."
Hardware

Dell Laptop Burns House Down 405

Nuclear Elephant writes "The Consumerist is running a story about a house burned down by a Dell laptop. 'My 130-year-old former farm house was engulfed in flames, with thick dark smoke pouring out of the windows and roof... Hours later, after investigation the fire marshal investigator took me aside asked me if I had a laptop computer. Yes — I told him I had a Dell Inspiron 1200.' It was determined that the laptop, battery, or cord malfunctioned after its owner left for work, leaving the fire to spread through the entire house. All attempts to contact Dell have failed. 'I have tried to call Dell to at least notify them of my problems, but each time I have called I get transferred into an endless loop of "Joe" or "Alan" all speaking a delectable version of English I presume emanates from Bangalore. I have been outright hung up on each time I get someone who speaks a reasonable version of English, or sounds like they might be in charge of something. Promises of call backs have gone, of course, unreturned.'"
Patents

MS Seeks Patent For Repossessing School Computers 299

theodp writes "Microsoft has applied for a patent for 'securely providing advertising subsidized computer usage.' The application describes how face-recognition webcams and CAPTCHAs can be used in schools to ensure that computer users are paying attention to ads, and the recourse of 'disabling or even repossessing the computer' if they are not."

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