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University of Penn. Recommends Against Vista SP1 286

At least one university liberal enough to accept the deeply flawed and mostly rejected Vista OS is recommending faculty and students stay away from SP1. "University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade their computers to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. The school's Information Systems & Computing department said it will support Vista SP1 on new systems where it's pre-installed, but added that it 'strongly recommends that all other users adopt a "wait and see" attitude,' according to a newly published department bulletin." And CIO magazine doesn't quite go so far as to call on Microsoft to throw away Vista, but it does ask its readers to weigh in on that topic.

Preload Drastically Boosts Linux Performance 144

Nemilar writes "Preload is a Linux daemon that stores commonly-used libraries and binaries in memory to speed up access times, similar to the Windows Vista SuperFetch function. This article examines Preload and gives some insight into how much performance is gained for its total resource cost, and discusses basic installation and configuration to get you started."

Submission + - ODF v. OOXML: Eric Kriss, Peter Quin and the ETRM (

Andy Updegrove writes: "Over the past 30 months I've conducted interviews with many of those most involved in the ODF-OOXML standards war, and received a great deal of inside information from them, some of which I have not previously shared. Last month, I launched an on-line book recounting the ODF saga, taking the story back to its roots in 2002 for those that tuned in late. In this fourth chapter of ODF vs. OOXML: War of the Words, I draw on a two hour interview with Peter Quinn's boss, State Secretary of Administration and Finance Eric Kriss, to tell the story of how Kriss and Quinn started down the road that would lead to the adoption of ODF — and much more."

Submission + - NPR picks up RIAA lawsuits stories 3

An anonymous reader writes: NPR's programme Marketplace is running a series of segment specials in regard to how the RIAA's lawsuit strategy. The series is available for podcast, with the first being linked here, beginning at time stamp 19:50. While there is little new content for Slashdot readers, could this be the harbinger of the mainstream media and the general public finally taking notice?

Submission + - Microsoft loses anti-Trust EU case (

CPUsInHotPlaces writes: The BBC is reporting that the European Union's "Court of First Instance" has ruled against Microsoft in the ongoing anti-trust case. As a result of this ruling, they must pay abide by the original ruling from 2004 (including a 497m euro fine), and also pay 80% of the EU commission's legal costs.

The only section of the original ruling that was not upheld was the comission's attempt to impose an independent monitoring trustee

Linux Business

Submission + - Mark Shuttleworth on Goals and Success (

tykev writes: "Mark Shuttleworth talks about success, failure, and the lessons he has learned. He gives his thoughts on Linux gaming, KDE vs. Gnome in Ubuntu, Microsoft's patent deals, the OpenXML format, and tivoization. From the interview: 'My interest is always in finding big changes in the world and then trying to accelerate them, and be part of them. [...] I won't start looking for another project until I'm comfortable that Ubuntu has fulfilled all its potential.'"
Operating Systems

Submission + - How-To: Switch Your Grandma to Linux (

LNX writes: "Matt Hartley of writes to let us know that a new article on How-To: Switch Your Grandma to Linux is up on his site. It's a humorous article that shows you how to take beginners, such as your grandma, and convert them into Linux users. He continues, "I've said it before, with the proper support in place, anyone can use certain Linux distributions successfully. And apparently, this has been shown to be true yet again. But even considering this success story, there remains a shortage of understanding on which dial-up modems will work and why, if that new all-in-one printer grandma just purchased will work with her chosen distribution and so on. Today, I will explore the viability of grandma, obviously not using some kind of broadband connection, making the switch. Hassle and benefit will be looked into here."

Submission + - New Wonder Weed Fuels Cars 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Jatropha, an ugly, fast-growing and poisonous weed that has been used as a remedy for constipation, may someday power your car. The plant, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content that when crushed can be burnt in a diesel car while the residue can be processed into biomass for power plants. Although jatropha has been used for decades by farmers in Africa as a living fence because its smell and taste repel grazing animals, the New York Times reports that jatropha may replace biofuels like ethanol that require large amounts of water, fertilizer, and energy, making their environmental benefits limited. Jatropha requires no pesticides, little water other than rain and no fertilizer beyond the nutrient-rich seed cake left after oil is pressed from its nuts. Poor farmers living close to the equator are planting jatropha on millions of acres spurred on by big oil companies like British Petroleum that are investing in jatropha cultivation."

Submission + - Brain Differences In Democrats and Republicans

i_like_spam writes: Scientists from NYU and UCLA report in Nature Neuroscience that the brains of Democrats and Republicans process information differently. This new study finds that the differences are apparent even when the brain processes common information, not just political topics. From the study, liberals were more likely to be accurate and showed more brain activity in the region associated with analyzing conflicts. A researcher not affiliated with the study stated, liberals 'could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.' Moreover, 'the results could explain why President Bush demonstrated a single-minded commitment to the Iraq war and why some people perceived Sen. John F. Kerry ... as a flip-flopper.

Submission + - HP Plans It's Own Linux PCs to Beat Dell (

thomas writes: HP is working on Linux PCs of its own to beat Dell, which shouldn't be too difficult considering Dell's minimal efforts in promoting Linux and open source. writes, "I think the biggest thing that ticked me off about Dell's Ubuntu offerings is that they put Canonical in charge of promoting their boxes. This is stupid, and they know darn well it should have been the other way around. I would like to see HP give both Windows and Ubuntu an equal mind share. Granted, there will need to be clarity regarding the legalities surrounding MP3 and WMV playback, but if someone would jump onto the clue train here and begin selling portable music players from iRiver (among others), which support OGG Vorbis, and allow users to provide YouTube videos showing how to legally (unless the US RIAA have changed their tune again ) rip CDs you own for playback onto your brand new OGG player, it should be fine.
Data Storage

Submission + - 48GigaBYTE flash chip (

Hal_Porter writes: Hynix have stacked 24 16 gigabit (2 gigabyte) NAND flash chips in a 1.4mm thick package, giving 48 gigabytes of storage. It's not clear if it's possible to write to them in parallel — if so the device should be pretty damn fast. The usual objection to NAND flash as a hard drive replacement is lifetime. NAND sectors can only be written 100,000 times or so before they wear out, but wear levelling can be done to spread writes evenly over at least each chip. I worked out that the lifetime should be much longer than a typical magnetic hard disk. There's no information on costs yet frankly and it sounds like an expensive proof of concept, but it shows you the sort of device that will take over from small hard disks in the next few years.

Submission + - New Google Linux Apps Coming Soon !!

An anonymous reader writes: The goal of the Google Linux Client Team is to develop Linux desktop applications, such as what we have seen from Google Earth and Google Picasa with official Linux versions.Google had also made an interesting splash at the first-ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit (which they had kindly hosted at their Mountain View campus) during a presentation by the Google Linux Client Team. What was it? Well, there are some "significant accomplishments" and other new Google desktop applications coming out this year for the Linux platform.

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