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Comment Re:AltaVista (Score 1) 176

It's not so much that they didn't see the potential; it's that they couldn't let go of their legacy business to pursue other avenues while that legacy was so much of their culture and revenue.

DEC saw Unix coming and responded with Ultrix; they saw internet search coming and responded with AltaVista etc etc. In every case DEC saw technology and change and made great products in response.

What they didn't do was really commit to those products.

For DEC it was all about VMS. Especially on VAX and later on Alpha. Other products could exist but the core of effort and marketing always had to go that directions.

It's a story that has played out over and over in tech at Wang, IBM, and even now is playing out at Microsoft.

Comment The Weird Vast Tolerance of Opinions in Europe (Score 3, Interesting) 58

I think these stories of pirate parties, or communists, or greens, running and being elected to various governmental office are so titillating to Americans because we find it hard to imagine the vast tolerance of divergent opinions in non-american politics. In the USA we have two center right parties with almost no divergence over core political issues who fight to endlessly promote minor political issues or social wedge issues so as to disguise their complete lock on political power.

In the US you could no more elect a pirate, a communist, or an atheist, than you could elect bear. So in the end for us these stories are dancing bear type stories. No one asks if a dancing bear dances well. We aren't interested all that much in the policies or the questions themselves; we're just kind of amazed that you guys would conceive of electing someone whose opinion diverges so far from your rulers.

Comment What people seem to miss (Score 1) 248

Microtransactions ARE how the web is funded currently. The majority of commercial web sites use advertising to monetize their content.. By placing ads on their pages they receive a minuscule sum of money for each unique user who views a page. The cost of the advertising is made up in the price of goods. ie just as in a classic microtransaction system the user puts money into an organization that pays small amounts to the owner of pages they visit.

Imagine if instead ISPs charged slightly more and paid a tiny amount say 1000th of a cent to the owner of websites you visit.

Submission + - GeeXboX 3.0 is out ! (

tomlohave writes: A shiny new GeeXboX release has arrived! GeeXboX 3.0 is a major upgrade that integrates XBMC 11 “Eden” and adds the long-requested PVR functionality. This means you can finally use GeeXboX to watch and record live TV too! In addition to our usual x86 ISOs, this release is also available for several embedded platforms, with working full HD video and graphics acceleration for most of them.

A year in the making, this new GeeXboX 3.0 release is the accomplishment of hours, days, months of efforts from a lot of people. The ISO image of “GeeXboX for PC” edition grew up to 140 MB, mostly due to additional firmware and drivers to improve hardware support. We still think of GeeXboX as a lightweight distro, aiming at targeting the most PCs and devices as possible. The whole base system has been overhauled as usual, with countless package upgrades for improved stability and functionality, also benefitting from several improvements to the underlying OpenBricks build system.

GeeXboX also support many embedded devices running ARM SoCs (such as TI OMAP4 Pandaboard, nVidia Tegra 2, Solid-Run Cubox powered by Marvell Armada, ST-Ericsson Snowball), and more will be coming soon. Preliminary support for Toshiba AC100 (Tegra2-based netbook) and Raspberry Pi is already integrated in the development tree.


Submission + - The Rock of Gibraltar: Neanderthals' Last Refuge (

DevotedSkeptic writes: "Government officials have applied for Unesco World Heritage status for the caves near Gibralter. Gibraltar certainly deserves that distinction. The southwestern tip of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar was home to the last-surviving Neanderthals. And then tens of thousands of years later, it became the site of one of the first Neanderthal fossil discoveries.

That discovery occurred at Forbes’ Quarry in 1848. During mining operations, an officer in the British Royal Navy, Captain Edmund Flint, uncovered an adult female skull (called Gibraltar 1). At the time, Neanderthals were not yet known to science, and the skull was given to the Gibraltar Scientific Society. Although Neanderthals were recognized by the 1860s, it wasn’t until the the first decade of the 20th century that anatomists realized Gibraltar 1 was indeed a Neanderthal. Additional Neanderthal discoveries came in the 1910s and 1920s at the Devil’s Tower rock shelter, which appeared to be a Neanderthal occupation site. In 1926, archaeologist Dorothy Garrod unearthed the skull of a Neanderthal child near flaked stone tools from the Mousterian industry. In all, archaeologists have found eight Neanderthal sites at Gibraltar."


Submission + - Windows Phone SMS attack discovered (

An anonymous reader writes: As announced on the Winrumors site: "Microsoft’s range of Windows Phone devices suffer from a denial-of-service attack that allows attackers to disable the messaging functionality on a device.

The flaw works simply by sending an SMS to a Windows Phone user. Windows Phone 7.5 devices will reboot and the messaging hub will not open despite repeat attempts. We have tested the attack on a range of Windows Phone devices, including HTC’s TITAN and Samsung’s Focus Flash. Some devices were running the 7740 version of Windows Phone 7.5, others were on Mango RTM build 7720. The attack is not device specific and appears to be an issue with the way the Windows Phone messaging hub handles messages. The bug is also triggered if a user sends a Facebook chat message or Windows Live Messenger message to a recipient."


Submission + - TextMate 2.0 Goes Alpha (

scc writes: After years of waiting, TextMate 2.0 has arrived, if only in alpha. Improved scopes and indenting, new character classes, buffer completion, more control in themes, nested snippets, and discontinuous selections are just a sample of the new machinery. It's been a long time coming, but it looks like it may have been worth the wait.
The Media

Submission + - Time's Person of the Year is 'The Protester'

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Time's editor Rick Stengel announced on 'The Today Show' that "The Protester" is Time Magazine's Person of the Year: From the Arab Spring to Athens, From Occupy Wall Street to Moscow. “For capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and, finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century." The initial gut reaction on Twitter seems to be one of derision, as Time has gone with a faceless human mass instead of picking a single person like Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi who Time mentions in the story and is widely acknowledged as the person who set off the "Arab Spring." In 2006, Time chose "You" with a mirrored cover to much disappointment, picked the personal computer as "Machine of the Year" and Earth as "Planet of the Year," proving "that it should probably just be "Story of the Year" if they aren't going to acknowledge an actual person," writes Dashiell Bennett. "By not picking any one individual, they've basically chosen no one.""

Submission + - Amazon Silk revisited: Is it fast(er) yet? (

MrSeb writes: "When the Kindle Fire came out last month, one of the biggest disappointments users had was that Amazon’s promise of “ultra-fast web browsing” seemed to be all talk. In our original testing, almost exactly one month ago, we found that Silk was actually slower going through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud servers than just connecting to the web directly. Amazon’s position on the whole thing was that Silk would get faster as the back end accumulated more data to cache and predict user behavior. We’ve now been using Silk for a month — and the results are... interesting."

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