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Is XMPP the 'Next Big Thing' 162

Open Standard Lover writes "XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) has been getting a lot of attention during the last month and it seems that the protocol is finally taking off as a general purpose glue to build distributed web applications. It has been covered that AOL was experimenting with an XMPP gateway for its instant messaging platform. XMPP has been designed since the beginning as an open technology for generalized XML routing. However, the idea of an XMPP application server is taking shape and getting supporters. A recent example shows that ejabberd XMPP server can be used to develop a distributed Twitter-like system."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

The Physics of Football 163

Ponca City, We Love You writes "There will be a program on applied physics and real time strategy that you might want to watch on television today. Conservation of momentum during elastic and inelastic collisions is one aspect on which to focus as players tackle their opponents. It is of critical importance that the Patriots bring down New York's huge and powerful running back, 6-foot-4, 265-pound Brandon Jacobs. An average-size NFL defensive back's mass combined with his speed — on average, 4.56 seconds for the 40-yard dash — can produce up to 1600 pounds of tackling force. A tackle with half a ton of force may sound like a crippling blow, but the body can handle twice that amount because the player's equipment spreads out the incoming energy, lessening its severity." Nanotech specialists from Cornell have developed their own take on the "physics" of the Super Bowl by creating the world's smallest trophy, which will be awarded today to a contestant who best explains an aspect of football physics. Just some food for thought while you watch the game on your brand new HD television, though you'd better not be watching it in a church.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Build a Windows Home Server (extremetech.com)

ThinSkin writes: "While our important digital information is dangling at the mercy of our local hard drives, protecting that data with a home server isn't such a bad idea. For roughly $800, computer users can build a low-power, 1 terabyte Windows Home Server to ensure that our data doesn't go bump in the night. ExtremeTech has a primer on building this server, outlining which parts to buy, and also taking readers through each installation step. The cost is about the same as the HP MediaSmart Server EX475, though building a system allows PC users more flexibility and full access to the operating system."

Submission + - Next for Apple: Lossless iTunes Store (cnet.co.uk)

DrJenny writes: C|net has an interesting piece running at the moment about why Apple developed their own lossless codec, and more importantly that iTunes will become a download store for lossless audio, potentially from all the major labels. This would be a massively positive move for people who spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on hi-fi gear, but refuse to give money to stores that only offer compressed music. It's a big FLAC, DRM, ALAC and GB discussion, but it's a very exciting perspective, and surely one that'll pan out meaning audiophiles will finally be able to take advantage of legal digital downloads.

Submission + - New Zealand Justice Ministry prefers Open Source (nzoss.org.nz)

christian.einfeldt writes: "In a paper dated 11 Dec. 2007, the New Zealand Justice Ministry has taken a position favoring Free Open Source Software if all other aspects of the proprietary competitor are comparable. The policy does not rule out proprietary software; but it does state a clear preference for FOSS where all other things are equal. The nine-page paper (PDF warning) does not purport to express any sort of legal or commercial commitment by the Ministry, but instead 'is believed to be consistent with existing MoJ policies.' The most salient reasons given for the preference are summarized in one sentence: 'Given two equivalent packages, one open and one proprietary, the OSS one would be the preferable choice for reasons of better supportability and lower lifecycle cost.'"

Submission + - Dutch governemnt goes the open standard route (webwereld.nl)

Alpha77 writes: Today, the Dutch parliament has agreed to a plan that aims to implement support for open standards in national and local government organisations. The plan (in Dutch) lists a number of actions that will be taken. Support for ODF is mandatory for the national government by April 2008, other government organisations must comply by December 2008, but other existing formats are still allowed too. The Google translation of the source can be found here.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Make Your Own OS With MikeOS

ADenyer writes: Want to write your own OS? Fancy trying your hand at x86 assembly language? MikeOS is an open source x86 operating system, designed to show you how a simple OS fits together. Yes, it's 16-bit (for BIOS access), but it's small enough to avoid the old-school DOS memory segment woes, and includes a very thorough HandBook with a guide to writing your first OS kernel. The new 1.1 release includes build scripts for Mac OS X and Windows.

Submission + - Backup your mobile phone contacts, manage online (facebook.com)

Kunal Gupta writes: "Styky is a free service that wirelessly backs up your mobile phone contacts and lets's you use and manage them online, for free. If you ever lose or break your phone, Styky restores your contacts to your new device. Besides backup, Styky offers a lot of other cool features, like phone number sharing and requesting, group text messaging, reverse number lookups (enter a number, see if one of your friends can identify it), rich profile views — right from the phone book on your phone, photo sharing, and more.

You can get styky by texting "styky" to 4STYKY (478959) or by checking out www.styky.com Styky is also available as a Facebook application, "Styky Phonebook" that let's you manage your phonebook through Facebook, including tagging your contacts, and linking them to your Facebook friends. You can also send free text messages through the Facebook app. And for those of you who ever ever flushed your phone, and your social life down the toilet, Styky helps you rebuild your contacts with a simple profile box, where your friends add themselves right to your phonebook. No more "Lost my phone, Need Numbers." groups.

Styky supports over 300 devices, including Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices, with more being added every day. For phones that don't support the downloadable app, you can access Styky Lite, the WAP site, at m.styky.com"


Submission + - The 10 most overpaid jobs in the United States

lucabrasi999 writes: Almost everyone can point to a co-worker and say, "They are overpaid". Maybe that co-worker is lazy. Maybe they work hard, but their results are say, lackluster. Maybe they are a great worker, but they landed in a nice, cushy job. Well, Chris Plummer from Marketwatch has identified what he thinks are the most overpaid jobs in the United States. Longshoremen? Motivational Speakers? This list may make you wonder if it is time for a career change. Especially for those of us in IT.

Submission + - KDE 4 uses 40% less memory despite 3D eye-candy

An anonymous reader writes: Pro-Linux reports that KDE 4, scheduled to be released in January 2008, consumes almost 40% less memory than KDE 3.5, despite the fact that version 4 of the Free and Open Source desktop system includes a composited window manager and a revamped menu and applet interface. KDE developer Will Stephenson showcased KDE 4's 3D eye-candy on a 256Mb laptop with 1Ghz CPU and run-of-the-mill integrated graphics, pointing out that mini-optimizations haven't even yet been started. Will this combination of resource efficiency and consumer appeal make KDE 4 the leader in the booming Linux-based ultra mobile laptop and energy efficient desktop markets?
Internet Explorer

Submission + - Mozilla: when more bugs can mean tighter security

biscuitfever11 writes: The outspoken head of Mozilla Europe Tristan Nitot has coughed up a few gems in this interview with ZDNet, not least in the security wars against Internet Explorer. Nitot readily acknowledges the massive number of bugs that affect the open source browser, but says that it's the Mozilla community which makes the browser far safer than IE will ever be. Nitot said: "I'm surprised that bug counting, which is a terrible metric, was used by Microsoft. It isn't easy to assess security, but bug counting definitely isn't the way to do it. I'd rather talk about time to fix the duration of the window where users are at risk, which in our opinion is a much better metric. People within the Mozilla community have a better-than-average understanding of this — we work together and have to trust each other." http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39291344-1,00.htm

Submission + - Open source takes aim at high-cost math software (networkworld.com) 2

coondoggie writes: "A new open source mathematics program is looking to push aside commercial software commonly used in mathematics education, in large government laboratories and in math-intensive research. The program's backers say the software, called Sage, can do anything from mapping a 12-dimensional object to calculating rainfall patterns under global warming. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22768"

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