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Why Linux Doesn't Spread - the Curse of Being Free 1243

Vlad Dolezal tips us to a philosophical take on why Linux hasn't grown to challenge Windows as the most popular operating system. According to the author, the reason is simple; Linux is free, and humans tend not to equate free things with being valuable. "Here's what Compy McNewb sees. He can get both OS's for free. But one of them is worth over three hundred dollars, while the other one is worth nothing. 'That's not true!' I hear you scream. 'Linux is worth a lot! It's just being offered for free!' I know it's not true that Linux is worth less than Windows. It's far more valuable to the end user in terms of getting things done. But that's not what Average Joe Computer Newbie sees. He sees a free product versus a three-hundred-dollar product he can get free. It's all about the perception!"
Networking (Apple)

Submission + - Leopard bug - SMB share access broken

RMH101 writes: I've just setup my new Macbook Pro with Leopard 10.5.1 and have noticed a killer problem: it doesn't work with my NAS and SMB shares, in fact SMB seems fairly comprehensively broken. Googling around, it seems I'm not alone: there's a fair number of people with the same problem, and Apple don't have a fix:
Main problem: when I connect to my (open, non password-protected) NAS SMB share via Finders "Go To Server" and SMB://my.nas.ip.address, it'll let me view the open shares on that device. However, opening one shows it as having blank contents. Creating a new folder within that folder via Finder causes the "New Folder" icon to appear for a split second, then vanish. The same NAS SMB shares work fine when accessed from OS X Tiger, Ubuntu, XP — and even from the Leopard machine via virtualised XP under Parallels — even showing the "New Folder" mentioned above.
What the hell is going on?

I've also noticed problems with the autodiscovery of network shares under Leopard, with devices appearing and disappearing in the sidebar randomly, and am failing to connect to open SMB shares on Windows boxes, too: it asks to authenticate as Guest or named user, and fails on both.

Is anyone else seeing similar issues, and more importantly has anyone got a fix? This has broken networking so badly that I'm going to have to revert to Tiger until one appears.

Submission + - Deep packet inspection meets Net neutrality, CALEA (

audi100quattro writes: "Imagine a device that sits inline in a major ISP's network and can throttle P2P traffic at differing levels depending on the time of day. Imagine a device that allows one user access only to e-mail and the Web while allowing a higher-paying user to use VoIP and BitTorrent. Imagine a device that protects against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, scans for viruses passing across the network, and siphons off requested traffic for law enforcement analysis. Imagine all of this being done in real time, for 900,000 simultaneous users, and you get a sense of the power of deep packet inspection (DPI) network appliances. ..the time to debate the proper limits of shaping, blocking, and spying is now, before they become ubiquitous features of the ISP landscape."

Submission + - Cat Can Predict Death

jeepliberty writes: Yahoo and CNN are reporting a cat in a nursing home that can predict death. Cat Can Predict Death. Is the cat the cause or the effect? Didnt Dr Jack go to prision for the same thing? I wonder if the cat can predict a Blue Screen? Gives new meaning to the term lap top.

Submission + - Americans Clueless About Cancer Risks (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that a surprising number of Americans believe scientifically dubious claims concerning cancer, and that the groups with the greatest burden of cancer are the most likely to be misinformed. For example, the majority of survey respondents didn't think smoking was more likely to cause lung cancer than pollution — despite 87% of lung cancer cases being due to smoking. The most interesting finding was that people who described themselves as knowing the most about cancer were more likely to have false beliefs. Participants who labeled themselves as "very informed" about cancer were more likely to believe underwire bras cause breast cancer, or that quitting smoking did nothing to reduce cancer risks. The article abstract is availabe from the journal Cancer."

Submission + - Wind farms might not reduce pollution

catbutt writes: "According to a NYTimes article, which references a National Academy of Sciences study, wind farms may not be effective at reducing polution. The logic seems a bit odd, though, because it says that the reason it won't reduce certain types of pollutants is that there "was already a cap on sulfur emissions and one on nitrogen oxides was likely to follow. Is is possible such caps are a bad idea, then, if they cause people to not bother reducing their output of pollutants, since all it would end up doing is allowing someone else to pollute more?"

Real Open Source Applications for Education? 185

openeducation writes "I have been researching open source solutions for K-12 education pretty heavily for the past year and have been disappointed to find no real alternatives to the large administrative applications like student information systems, data warehouse, ERP, etc. But recently, I ran across Open Solutions for Education. This group appears to be making a serious effort at creating a stack of open source applications that are alternatives to the large and costly commercial packages. Centre, an open source student information system that has been around for a while, is part of the solution stack. They have a data warehouse and are proposing an open source SIF alternative and an assessment solution. While the proof is in the pudding, these guys have working demos and they look pretty good for a first run. K-12 education is in dire financial straits and solutions like these could help with lower TCO. Plus, education is a collaborative industry already, which makes it a good fit for open source."

Conservative Sarkozy Wins Presidency of France 962

Reader reporter tips us to a story just up at the NYTimes reporting that the tough-talking conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won election as the president of France. His opponent, Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal, the first woman to get as far as the runoff in a presidential contest in France, has conceded defeat. The vote went 53% to Sarkozy and the turnout was a remarkable (by American standards) 85% of registered voters. Sarkozy is seen as a divisive figure for his demand that immigrants learn Western values (and the French language).

Submission + - Estimating custom software development cost

GL82 writes: As a student studying CS right now, we came across the subject of estimating software development cost. Out of curiosity, what kind of methods (eg. function points, use case points, COCOMO, and others) do you or your company used to estimate the cost required to develop the software for your clients (after you have complete a fairly comphrensive specification)? My question is directed toward custom software development, but methods for development of software product is also welcome. Also, how well does your method works? If you found out later that your number are way far, then what techniques do you use when re-negotiating with your clients about the pricing or scope of the projects?

Google Radio Ads Experiencing Early Troubles 41

An anonymous reader writes "Google's tech-heavy solution to advertising has worked wonders on the internet, and made it a friend to bloggers everywhere. The low-tech nature of traditional radio, though, has caused some conflicts with Google's radio ad service. The impersonal nature of online ads are very different than the one-on-one personalized service that radio advertising normally uses. While Google ads are running on some 700 radio stations, that's a very small part of the market. They are committed to improving, but onlookers think it will take a change in pitch. 'Whether Google can succeed in radio "is questionable, because you do need relationships with radio stations to give you something of value. If you don't have radio-focused'll get the low-hanging fruit but may not be able to grow the market," said Maribeth Papuga, senior vice president and director of radio buying for Media Vest, a part of ad firm Publicis Groupe. "Their challenge is going to be having a broad enough list of markets and stations to make it a viable enough player on a national scale."'"

Submission + - Hospital says SSN's not financial data.

theEteam writes: According to this report, St Marys Hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland had a laptop stolen with information of 130,000 patients. The hospital does the right thing and sends out letters to everybody effected, telling them that "The computer contained identifying information including names, social security numbers and birthdates for many of our patients." Sounds good so far and not exactly news. Then, according to the article, they state that "the laptop did not contain any patient health or financial information." Link to the hospital letter directly is here. So when did SSNs cease to become financial data?

Submission + - Cuba Adopts Open Source

petro6 writes: "The AP wire released a story (you can find it on The Washington Post's website) stating, "Cuba's communist government is trying to shake off the yoke of at least one capitalist empire — Microsoft converting its computers to open-source software." Sources say it is difficult to say how long the transition will take. Cuba cites cost and security as a main motivator, but Bill Gate's description of open source developers as "some new modern-day sort of communists" perhaps speaks to an idealogical impetus. They are joining Venezuela which announced a similar move last year, and other countries such as China, Brazil and Norway in a move away from proprietary software."

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