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Microsoft

Why Microsoft Should Fear Apple 576

jcatcw writes "Computerworld's Scot Finnie says that Microsoft should be afraid because Apple has gotten smarter about how it competes. He says that it's the Parallels Desktop software that has been truly transformational for the Mac. Finnie did a simple three-month trial of the Mac last in the fall and realized four months later that he wasn't going back. Since then he's received hundreds of messages from readers who've also made the switch. 'In the end, this is about perception. It isn't about Apple's market share or even its quarterly sales numbers. (Apple's notebook computer sales for the fourth quarter were 4.1% of all portable computer sales, according to DisplaySearch.) What this is about is that Apple is reaching the right people with its product, winning new converts, Windows user by Windows user -- and creating buzz. How do you measure buzz? You don't. It's something that experienced people in this industry can just feel. And that's the condition Microsoft should fear. Because buzz can turn into something much harder to combat than sheer numbers.'"
Biotech

Semi-Identical Twins Discovered 224

daftna writes in with a story from Nature about a pair of twins who are neither identical nor fraternal: they are semi-identical. Researchers discovered twins who share all of their mother's DNA but only half of their father's. Both children are chimeras — their cells are not genetically uniform, but include a mix of genes from two separate sperm cells that fertilized a single egg. This is, apparently, not as rare as one might think; but the resulting fetus is rarely viable. This report marks the first known incidence of two half-identical twins resulting from a double fertilization.
The Courts

Sony's Grouper Picks On Searchles TV 37

pradeepe writes "Sony's Grouper, a video sharing site, has sent Searchles, a social search engine, a cease and desist letter over Grouper videos being streamed through Searchles TV, "the Internet's first video player that empowers users to mashup videos back-to-back with one player using multiple sources like MySpace, YouTube, Google Video, Blip.tv or Grouper." Grouper claims that Searchles has "effectively stripped away Grouper's extensive copyright protection system, including the 'Flag as Inappropriate' button and the link that appears on every single page of the Grouper website to allow copyright owners to report allegedly infringing material, in accordance with the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act." It's interesting to note that Grouper itself is being sued for copyright infringement."
Space

The Search for Dark Matter and Dark Energy 212

mlimber writes "The New York Times Magazine has a lengthy article on dark matter and dark energy, discussing the past, present, and future. 'Astronomers now realize that dark matter probably involves matter that is nonbaryonic ["meaning that it doesn't consist of the protons and neutrons of 'normal' matter"]. And whatever it is that dark energy involves, we know it's not 'normal,' either. In that case, maybe this next round of evidence will have to be not only beyond anything we know but also beyond anything we know how to know.'"

Scientists Threatened For "Climate Denial" 1165

Forrest Kyle writes "A former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg has received multiple death threats for questioning the extent to which human activities are driving global warming. '"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor. "I can tolerate being called a skeptic because all scientists should be skeptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal." Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology [...] recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."'"
Biotech

Anti-Matter's Potential in Treating Cancer 216

eldavojohn writes "The BBC is taking a look at how atomic physicists are developing cancer treatments. A step past radiotherapy, the CERN institute is publishing interesting results: 'Cancer cells were successfully targeted with anti-matter subatomic particles, causing intense biological damage leading to cell death.' The press release from last year is finally sparking interest in the medical community."
Star Wars Prequels

$100k For Kenobi's Cloak 140

dws90 writes "The cloak worn by Sir Alec Guinness when he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars original trilogy has been sold at a TV and Cinema auction. The cloak sold for £54,000, which is about $103,923 according to Google calculator. According to the article, the cloak was missing for nearly 30 years, during which it was rented out to a number of other films, including the Mummy. It was found two years ago, and has been part of a film memorabilia exhibition in London since then. The cloak sold for more than any of the other movie costumes the article listed, beating out Sean Connery's dinner jacket from Thunderball and a helmet worn by Terry Jones in Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
Science

The Blackest Material 299

QuantumCrypto writes "Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created 'the world's first material that reflects virtually no light.' This anti-reflection technology is based on nanomaterial and could lead to the development of more efficient solar cells, brighter LEDs, and 'smarter' light sources. In theory, if a room were to be coated with this material, switching on the lights would only illuminate the items in the room and not the walls, giving a sense of floating free in infinite space."
Wireless Networking

The Assassination of Wi-Fi 258

justelite writes "John C. Dvorak from PC Magazine has up an article looking at the new strategy of American cell-phone-service companies. From article: 'There is mounting evidence that the cellular service companies are going to do whatever they can to kill Wi-Fi. After all, it is a huge long-term threat to them. We've seen that the route to success in America today is via public gullibility and general ignorance. And these cell-phone-service companies are no dummies.'"
Microsoft

Is Vista a Trap? 559

logube writes "BBC has up an article about the trap of installing Vista in your existing desktop. Written by Tim Weber, a self-confessed 'sucker for technology,' this article is a good introduction to the pain and extra money required to get going with the newest version of Windows. See how you can spend an extra 130 british pounds, and still have no working webcam! Says Weber, 'It took me one day to get online. The detail is tedious and highly technical: reinstalling drivers and router firmware didn't work, but after many trial and error tweaks to Vista's TCP/IP settings, I had internet access. Once online, Creative's website told me that my sound card was a write-off. No Vista support would be forthcoming.'"
America Online

AOL Now Supports OpenID 163

Nurgled writes "On Sunday John Panzer announced that AOL now has experimental OpenID server support. This means that every AOL user now has an OpenID identifier. OpenID is a decentralized cross-site authentication system which has been growing in popularity over the last few months. AOL is the first large provider to offer OpenID services, and though they do not currently accept logins to their services with OpenID identifiers from elsewhere, they are apparently working on it. The next big challenge for OpenID proponents is teaching AOL's userbase how to make use of this new technology."

Stallman Convinces Cuba to Switch to Open Source 582

prostoalex writes "It's a big victory for Richard Stallman in North America, as Cuba decided to adopt open source software on the national level. Both Cuba and Venezuela are currently working on switching the entire government infrastructure to GNU/Linux operating system and applications, the Associated Press reports from Havana: 'Both governments say they are trying to wean state agencies from Microsoft's proprietary Windows to the open-source Linux operating system, which is developed by a global community of programmers who freely share their code.' The AP article doesn't mention the distro used for government workers, but says that the students are working on a Gentoo-based distro."
The Courts

SCO Vs. Groklaw 477

Conrad Mazian points us to an article in Forbes reporting that the SCO Group is trying to subpoena Pamela Jones of Groklaw. Except they can't find her. A few days ago PJ posted a note on Groklaw saying that she is taking some time away from the blog for health reasons; she didn't mention any SCO deposition. SCO's lawyers apparently believe that "Pamela Jones" does not exist and that Groklaw is penned by a team of IBM lawyers.
Programming

An Overview of Parallelism 197

Mortimer.CA writes with a recently released report from Berkeley entitled "The Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley: "Generally they conclude that the 'evolutionary approach to parallel hardware and software may work from 2- or 8-processor systems, but is likely to face diminishing returns as 16 and 32 processor systems are realized, just as returns fell with greater instruction-level parallelism.' This assumes things stay 'evolutionary' and that programming stays more or less how it has done in previous years (though languages like Erlang can probably help to change this)." Read on for Mortimer.CA's summary from the paper of some "conventional wisdoms" and their replacements.
The Internet

Wikipedia On the Brink? Or Crying Wolf? 380

netbuzz writes "Might Wikipedia 'disappear' three or four months from now absent a major infusion of cash donations? The suggestion has been made by Florence Devouard, chairwoman of the Wikimedia Foundation. And while her spokesperson has since backpedaled off that dire prediction, there can be little doubt that the encyclopedia anyone can edit could use a few more benefactors to go along with all those editors."

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