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Windows

Submission + - Major Vista performance patches made official

Brentwood writes: It only took them 6 months, but Ars reports that Microsoft has officially released the long-awaited performance and compatability updates that have been quietly tested the last few weeks. According to Ars, the updates fix some major flaws with Vista, including the notorious slow copy bug. Hibernation fixes and big updates for nVidia cards are included, too. They won't hit Windows Update for another week, but you can grab them from Microsoft directly: the compatibility and reliability update, the performance and reliability update.
Programming

Submission + - Beautiful Code interview (safaribooksonline.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Safari Books Online has just posted an interview with Andy Oram and Greg Wilson, the two editors who put together the recent O'Reilly book, Beautiful Code. "Beautiful Code" features 33 different case studies about challenging coding scenarios from some of today's most high-profile developers and OS project leaders. There's also a new Beautiful Code web site based on the book where many of the authors are blogging about their work and coding practices.
Data Storage

Submission + - Coming to your laptop -- 1.2TB hard drives (computerworld.com) 1

Lucas123 writes: "Fujitsu claims they have been able to create ideally ordered alumina nanohole patterns for isolated bit-by-bit recording on a disks, according to Computerworld's Brian Fonseca. The company recently demonstrated it could use a typical head and spinning platter to perform read/write operations on invdividual nanoholes. 'The patterned alumina nanohole media was created via a Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) processes using nano-imprint lithography (enabling discrete distance from bit to bit or track to track), anodic oxidation and cobalt electrodeposition at a density of 100-nanometer-pitch nanoholes suitable to existing head technology.'"
Software

Submission + - BitTorrent Closes Source Code (slyck.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "There are two issues people need to come to grips with," BitTorrent CEO Ashwin Narvin told Slyck.com. "Developers who produce open source products will often have their product repackaged and redistributed by businesses with malicious intent. They repackage the software with spyware or charge for the product. We often receive phone calls from people who complain they have paid for the BitTorrent client." As for the protocol itself, that too is closed, but is available by obtaining an SDK license.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Submit Nominations for 2007 Free Software Awards (fsf.org)

gnujoshua writes: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project request nominations for the 10th annual, 2007 Free Software Awards. Last year, the FSF awarded the developers of Sahana the Award for Project of Social Benefit for their free software disaster management system that was created in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami that devistated Southeast Asia. Also, last year, hacker Theodore Ts'o was given the Award for Advancement of Free Software for his many contributions to free software projects, including Linux, Kerberbos, and ONC RPC. More information about the awards can be found at www.fsf.org/awards. Submit your nominations by October 31, 2007.
Math

Submission + - An Optical Solution For an NP-Complete problem? (opticsexpress.org)

6 writes: Tobias Haist and Wolfgang Osten have proposed a novel idea for solving the traveling salesman problem...

We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP-complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non-polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment.

Space

Submission + - Black hole seen swallowing star (and belching)

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "New Sceintest reports that the Swift satellite has detected GRB 070610. From the article:

A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.

Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.

Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Why We Need a $200 Linux Notebook in the US (osweekly.com)

thomasLNX writes: "Yes, a $200 Linux notebook is great for third world countries, but according to Matt Hartley, cheap PCs that run Linux are also great for the United States. Just because we are in the West, it doesn't mean we are ready to shell money for PCs that we can have for a very reasonable price. He continues, "Speaking on behalf of solutions for all income levels, I'm sincerely hoping to see the 3ePC, among other solutions yet to be released, being offered to first world nations. The belief that if you live in Europe or North America and you are able to afford a computer is insane, and it would be nice to see the manufacturers of these projects understand this. Some might argue that it just takes time. I, on the other hand, feel strongly that we have given the creators of alternative hardware plenty of time. Real people in our own countries need options now — today. Not 'someday.'"
Books

Submission + - New Explanation for the Industrial Revolution (hughpickens.com)

Pcol writes: "The New York Times is running a story on Dr. Gregory Clark's book "A Farewell to Alms" with a new explanation for the Industrial Revolution and the affluence it created. Dr. Clark, an economic historian at the University of California Davis, postulates that the surge in economic growth that occurred first in England around 1800 came about because of the strange new behaviors of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save. Clark's research shows that between 1200 and 1800, the rich had more surviving children than the poor and that this caused constant downward social mobility as the poor failed to reproduce themselves and the progeny of the rich took over their occupations. "The modern population of the English is largely descended from the economic upper classes of the Middle Ages," Clark concludes. Work hours increased, literacy and numeracy rose, and the level of interpersonal violence dropped. Around 1790, a steady upward trend in production efficiency caused a significant acceleration in the rate of productivity growth that at last made possible England's escape from the Malthusian trap. Why did the Industrial Revolution first occur in England instead of the much larger populations of China or Japan. Clark has found data showing that their richer classes, the Samurai in Japan and the Qing dynasty in China, were surprisingly unfertile and failed to generate the downward social mobility that spread production-oriented values."
Portables

Submission + - Lenovo to sell, support SLED on ThinkPads (arstechnica.com)

Pengo writes: Lenovo has announced that they will begin selling T-series ThinkPads with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 preinstalled beginning sometime during the fourth quarter. In addition to supplying the hardware support, Lenovo will also handle OS support for ThinkPad customers, with Novell providing software updates. 'Unlike Dell, which has targeted its Linux offering primarily at the enthusiast community, Lenovo's SLED laptops are targeted at the enterprise. Whether they are running Ubuntu, SLED, or some other distribution, the availability of Linux preinstallation from mainstream vendors increases the visibility of the operating system and gives component makers an incentive to provide better Linux drivers and hardware support. If Lenovo is willing to collaborate with the Linux development community to improve the Linux laptop user experience, it will be a big win for all Linux users, not just the ones who buy laptops from Lenovo.'
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Cuts Vista Price to $66 in China (itworld.com)

narramissic writes: "Microsoft this week cut the retail price of Windows Vista Home Basic in China by 67% — from 1,521 renminbi to 499 renminbi ($65.80). This is a steep discount compared to what users in the U.S. and elsewhere are charged for the software. The reason for the price reduction? Battling piracy, of course. The new pricing 'narrows the price gap between original versions of Microsoft's software and pirated copies,' making it that much easier for consumers to do the right thing."
Google

Submission + - Google shows cell phone prototype to vendors

taoman1 writes: Google Inc. has developed a prototype cell phone that could reach markets within a year, and plans to offer consumers free subscriptions by bundling advertisements with its search engine, e-mail and Web browser software applications, according to a story published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.
Google

Submission + - Gmail accounts hacked - no response from Google (livejournal.com)

jared51 writes: A few friends have recently had their Gmail accounts hacked, causing immense life complications. With Gmail storing all information (many people have a handy label "Accounts" making life easier) that has ever been emailed, a hijacker can easily move on to eBay, PayPal and credit card accounts to turn the crime into cash. Making matters worse, Google is impossible to contact by human. Hijacked users must contend with an endless series of forms.
Security

Submission + - Firefox and IE still not getting along (heise-security.co.uk)

juct writes: "A new demo shows how Firefox running under Windows XP SP2 can be abused to start applications. For this to work, however, Internet Explorer 7 needs to be installed. This severe security problem promises another round in the "who-is-to-blame-war" between Mozilla and Microsoft. Mozilla currently is leading the race for a patch, as they have one ready in their bugzilla database."

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