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Supercomputing

Submission + - Best Way to Achieve Hardware-Diverse Clustering?

Revotron writes: "I'm a devout Folding@Home contributor — yes, the kind who gets into Work-Unit-pissing-contests with friends — and I have some modest (400Mhz-1.266Ghz) x86 hardware that I'd like to put to use. I've tried running one process per machine (running Linux, of course) — however, my main roadblock is that I don't have the time to manage seven different F@H processes on seven different machines. I was daydreaming and began to wonder how many limbs I'd have to sacrifice to set up a decent and diverse Linux cluster for grid computing applications. Ease-of-use, ease-of-installation and a graphical interface for a master node are all a must. Dost thou have any ideas, faithful readers?"
Censorship

Submission + - Australia bans Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back (smh.com.au)

essence writes: The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Office of Film and Literature Classification has refused classification of Soldier of Fortune: Pay Back for being too violent.

"..the OFLC said frequent high impact violence made the game unsuitable for those aged under 18 years."
"Successfully shooting an opponent results in the depiction of blood spray," the board said.
"When the enemy is shot from close range, the blood spray is substantial, especially when a high-caliber weapon is used, and blood splatters onto the ground and walls in the environment."

Democrats

Submission + - Democrats Cave on Spying, telecom immunity (washingtonpost.com)

EllisDees writes: "From the Washington Post:

"Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources."

Just why did we vote these jokers into office again?"

Security

Federal Government Inadvertently Deleted Ca.Gov 195

An anonymous reader writes "A Network World reader whose brother works for a California state agency forwarded me an e-mail alert that his brother received: "The Department of Technology Services (DTS) has notified us that the Federal Government inadvertently deleted the CA.GOV domain. As the evening progresses you may experience an impact in your ability to access some Web sites and exchange e-mail. DTS is working with their federal counterparts to restore service as quickly as possible but service may not be restored until tomorrow morning.""
Linux Business

Dell to Offer More Linux PCs 282

head_dunce writes "According to this article, Mark Shuttleworth from the Ubuntu camp says Dell is seeing a demand for the Linux-based PC and, "There are additional offerings in the pipeline." I'm starting to see flashbacks of the days when Microsoft partnered up with IBM to gain control of the desktop market. Will other Linux flavors find their way to the likes of Lenovo or HP, etc, or will Ubuntu claim the desktop market working with other PC manufacturers?"
Microsoft

Bill Gates Talk From 1989 Surfaces 317

70sstar writes "A 1-1/2 hour recording of Bill Gates addressing a crowd of university students in 1989 was recently found and digitized, and has been circulating in some IRC channels for the past few weeks. The speech has found a permanent home on the web page of the University of Waterloo CS Club, where the talk is reported to have taken place. Gates covers the past, present, and future of computing as of 1989. While the former two might be of interest to tech historians, the real fascination is Gates's prediction of computing yet to come. Like the now-legendary '640k' remark, some of his comments are almost laughably off-target ('OS/2 is the way of the future!'). And yet, by and large, he had accurately, chillingly, prophesied an entire decade or two of software and hardware development. All in all, a fascinating talk from one of the most powerful speakers in CS and IT."
Politics

Voters Vote Yes, County Says No 645

Khyber writes in with a story from Montana, where residents of Missoula County voted in a referendum intended to advise county law-enforcement types to treat marijuana offenses as low-profile. The referendum would not have changed any laws, but was advisory only. After voters approved it, county commissioners overturned it by a 2-to-1 vote. They were swayed by the argument of the county attorney, who had a "gut feeling" that Missoula's electorate had misinterpreted the ballot language. The move has resulted in a flood of disaffection among voters, especially young voters. "Is there even a point to voting any more if the will of the people can so easily be subverted by two people?" one voter posted on a comment blog.

Another Google Tool To Take On PayPal? 219

An anonymous reader writes to mention a ZDNet post about another possible product in the grand Google vision. The product, Google Checkout, may be an attempt to go after PayPal. From the article: "Since we know Google is behind its registration, what is Google Checkout going to be? I think it will be a shopping cart system to help websites accept payment for their items online. The money site owners make will be deposited into a holding account at Google -- just like AdSense works. Isn't this starting to sound a lot like PayPal? Who knows, they could even offer a Google branded Mastercard "debit card" like PayPal's ATM/Debit Card -- after all, the domain googlemastercard.com is registered to Google too."

MS Thinks OOo is 10 Years Behind 736

greengrass writes "In a recent interview with IT Wire, general manager of business strategy for the Information Worker Group at Microsoft, Alan Yates expressed the opinion that Open Office is at the same level that MS office was around 10 years ago. Supposedly only suitable for the single desktop, isolated user. After all, it doesn't even have an e-mail client!"

Robotic 'Pack Mule' with Impressive Reflexes 268

moon_monkey writes "New Scientist has a story about a nimble, four-legged robot that can recover its balance even after being given a hefty kick." From the article: "The project is sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who want the robotic pack mule to assist soldiers in terrain too tough for vehicles. Ground-based soldiers often need to carry 40 kilograms of equipment. Raibert says the latest version of BigDog can handle slopes of 35 - a steeper gradient than one in two. The hydraulics are driven by a two-stroke single-cylinder petrol engine, and it can carry over 40 kg, about 30% of its bodyweight. The robot can follow a simple path on its own, or can be remotely controlled."

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