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Software

Submission + - Open source harder to compile on Windows?

MoJo writes: "On a Linux system, you download the source and type 'make'. All the compilers and tools are pre-installed and ready to go. On Windows, there are no standard dev tools and many projects need a significant amount of work just to compile them (e.g. Firefox/Thunderbird) — is this holding open source on Windows back?

As a developer, sometimes I feel like contributing to a project. If I could just download the source and a library or two, hit compile and go from there, I probably would. But invariably there are hoops to jump through, issues to resolve, and in the end it often looks like too much work just to get started, let along develop the patch."
Microsoft

Submission + - Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office (computerworld.com)

SplatMan_DK writes: Computerworld is running an article about Microsofts dominance in the world of office suites, and pointing to strong alternatives for both Mac and Windows — even if you need MS Office compatibility. Under the title "Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office for an alternative suite" Ryan Faas and David Haskin explain that:

there are alternatives out there — all cheaper than Microsoft's standard, and a couple that are even free. We sorted through nine contenders, some for Mac and some for PC (and a couple for both), to find out the best non-Office office suites available.
The article contains a good analysis of 9 non-web Office products for the PC.

Media (Apple)

Submission + - John C. Dvoraks switch story.

raffe writes: Hell froze over! John C. Dvorak, long time hater of the mac now likes it."I have no plans to move to the Mac platform for my personal use. That said, I have noticed that I've been recommending the machine to friends and neighbors when they want to know what kind of system they should buy."
Upgrades

Submission + - Dell blocks installation of standard components 1

Loh Phat writes: "Hardware vendors voiding warranties or not providing support is a standard caveat across the industry, but yesterday Dell showed that withholding a $5 part is more important that future sales or bad press.

Our company purchased a Dell PowerEdge 3250 (Dual CPU Itanium) less than two years ago (still under warranty BTW) for cross platform development (yes, our customers demand support for that platform). So we purchased a unit with a single drive in a two drive system.

Its spec sheet specifies U320 SCSI drive support — a standard. See for yourself http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pedg e/en/3250_specs.pdf

So when we wanted to add storage we purchased a standard U320 compatible drive and went to install it, however when we pulled the hot-swap drive sled out we noticed that it lacked mounting facilities for the drive; it curiously didn't match the existing sled in the occupied bay. They are 99% identical except for the lack of facility to actually attach a drive.

During a call to Dell "support" it seems that a year ago (a year after we bought the server and before the warranty expires) they stopped selling the drive sled capable of mounting a drive as a separate component — you can only get them, wait for it, attached to a Dell SCSI drive.

So it seems that it's OK to advertise the compatibility with industry-standard components, you just can't use them. With no pre-sales caveat that you will not be allowed to install anything standard unless it comes from Dell. Funny, the drive sled has its own part number H7206 but Dell *refused* to sell it to me.

The term "bait-and-switch" comes to mind. I'm all for caveat emptor, but a full declaration of terms is not unreasonable.

I don't mind having the freedom to be denied service or support of using non-vendor supplied parts (well, I do actually but I least know that before I buy) but in this case I'm physically prevented from doing so after the purchase.

So the question remains: are there grounds to file an anti-trust or some other complaint with the State regarding this deceptive business practice?

Regardless, they're now off the vendor list (actually I inherited the server as I would have selected another vendor in the first place). Good forward thinking there guys."
Security

Submission + - DNS spoofing raises its ugly head

An anonymous reader writes: In a newly released paper, security researcher Amit Klein from Trusteer demonstrates how DNS spoofing is still possible (after all these years...) with BIND 9. Since most DNS servers out there are BIND 9, so this has a serious effect on the security of the whole DNS infrastructure.
Microsoft

Submission + - Acer president attacks Microsoft over Vista

StonyandCher writes: Acer president Gianfranco Lanci became the first major PC manufacturer to openly attack Microsoft over the Windows Vista operating system in the Financial Times Deutschland on Monday.

Lanci said the operating system was riddled with problems and gave users and businesses no reason to buy a new PC, according to the report. Users are voting with their feet, Lanci said, so that the Vista launch has had the smallest impact on PC sales of any version of Windows in the history of PC manufacturing. He added the situation didn't look likely to change in the next six months.
Printer

InkJet Printers Lying, Or Just Wrong? 461

akkarin writes in about a study reported at Ars Technica on how accurate ink-jet printers are when they report that cartridges are empty. Not very, it turns out. Epson came out on top of the study (and Ars rightly questions how objective it was, given that Epson paid for it), but even they waste 20% of the ink if users take the printers' word for when to get a new cartridge. On average, the printers in the study wasted more than half the ink that users bought.
Graphics

Submission + - Nvidia Launches GP-GPU Products: Tesla

unts writes: Graphics chip manufacturer Nvidia has launched a new range of products aimed squarely at using the massively parallelised architecture of GPUs for non-graphical computing tasks. Beyond3D takes a look at Tesla, and has interviews with Dave Kirk and Andy Keane who have been working on the project. From the article: 'The basic unit of the current Tesla line, the Tesla C870, should be very familiar to anyone who's seen the GeForce 8800. It's essentially an 8800 GTX — a 575MHz core clock and 128 SPs at 1.35GHz — with 1.5GiB of GDDR3 RAM. Of course, it's not quite an 8800 GTX — there are no display outputs at all on the card'
Security

Submission + - Microsoft Excel Nearly Elects Wrong Government

ntk writes: "Britain's Open Rights Group sent technically knowledgeable members to act as electoral observers in the UK's first e-voting trials, with disturbing results. Their report mentions, among other foul-ups, that officials forgetting to scroll in Excel almost led to the wrong party winning control of the Scottish parliament. More in their full report here."
Communications

Submission + - Has Motorola finally had its day?

Joseph Munter writes: A recent CNET article names the five cell phones that changed the world. Three of the phones in the story are Motorola made handsets — the DynaTAC, StarTAC and Razr V3. But given the past ingenuity and success of Motorola, it has just cut around 4000 jobs in an attempt to fight off increasing competition. Has the company that started the cell phone revolution finally had its day?
Software

Submission + - Open source's hottest 10 apps (part 2) (itwire.com.au)

davidmwilliams writes: "This story walks through the top five most active open source projects on SourceForge today. It explains what they do and why they're useful. Most of these will be new to most people but all are definitely busting with potential. Check this story out to see just what the hottest SourceForge projects are why they matter. http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/13085/53/"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Microsoft Marketplace to offer Ubuntu (windowsmarketplace.com) 1

eentonig writes: It was noticed that Microsoft Market place offers a download link to Ubuntu. Since no announcement has been made regarding a legal agreement between Ms and Ubuntu, I guess this means they don't think Ubuntu infringes on their patent FUD? http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?vie w=info&itemid=3411347#productSpecs

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