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The Internet

Time To Take the Internet Seriously 175

santosh maharshi passes along an article on Edge by David Gelernter, the man who (according to the introduction) predicted the Web and first described cloud computing; he's also a Unabomber survivor. Gelernter makes 35 predictions and assertions, some brilliant, some dubious. "6. We know that the Internet creates 'information overload,' a problem with two parts: increasing number of information sources and increasing information flow per source. The first part is harder: it's more difficult to understand five people speaking simultaneously than one person talking fast — especially if you can tell the one person to stop temporarily, or go back and repeat. Integrating multiple information sources is crucial to solving information overload. Blogs and other anthology-sites integrate information from many sources. But we won't be able to solve the overload problem until each Internet user can choose for himself what sources to integrate, and can add to this mix the most important source of all: his own personal information — his email and other messages, reminders and documents of all sorts. To accomplish this, we merely need to turn the whole Cybersphere on its side, so that time instead of space is the main axis. ... 14. The structure called a cyberstream or lifestream is better suited to the Internet than a conventional website because it shows information-in-motion, a rushing flow of fresh information instead of a stagnant pool."

Comment Plethora (Score 1) 111

I saw the first sentence starting with "While there is a plethora of..." and rolled my eyes, and then died laughing when I saw it as a story tag. Thanks to whomever caused that laugh, it was appreciated.


Bug In Most Linuxes Can Give Untrusted Users Root 281

Red Midnight and other readers brought to our attention a bug in most deployed versions of Linux that could result in untrusted users getting root access. The bug was found by Brad Spengler last month. "The null pointer dereference flaw was only fixed in the upcoming 2.6.32 release candidate of the Linux kernel, making virtually all production versions in use at the moment vulnerable. While attacks can be prevented by implementing a common feature known as mmap_min_addr, the RHEL distribution... doesn't properly implement that protection... The... bug is mitigated by default on most Linux distributions, thanks to their correct implementation of the mmap_min_addr feature. ... [Spengler] said many other Linux users are also vulnerable because they run older versions or are forced to turn off [mmap_min_addr] to run certain types of applications." The register reprints a dialog from the OpenBSD-misc mailing list in which Theo De Raadt says, "For the record, this particular problem was resolved in OpenBSD a while back, in 2008. We are not super proud of the solution, but it is what seems best faced with a stupid Intel architectural choice. However, it seems that everyone else is slowly coming around to the same solution."

Submission + - Can Technology Help Commercial Real Estate? (colliersparrish.com)

greymond writes: "I work for one of the largest commercial real estate entities in the world. Unfortunately our offices as well as our competitors, for the most part, have always been slow to adopt new technologies. While myself and many other of the in-house designers, marketing specialists and PR people have been pushing for years to take advantage of everything that is available to us, we've finally been granted the opportunity to start using a wide variety of online marketing tools. Since our business is primarily a relationship based business we've started to use social tools such as twitter, and blogger, as well as LinkedIn for networking. But more importantly is our work with tying in our database and Google Maps where our listings and managed property can be seen as whole on our offices main sites or on individual broker pages with just their listings, as well as generate what we call "EFlyers" on the fly and pulling people back to that office's or broker's website. These Eflyers are pages displaying multiple photos, PDFs and even YouTube videos of the properties.

While we haven't been a complete stranger to all technologies such as distributing for some time now our Market reports, transactions, press releases and other information via RSS feeds and Podcasts, we've begun to really focus on expanding on all aspects of our online presence. While we've gone back to the basics and started using different SEO tactics for our featured property pages and incorporating Google Analytics into many of our websites pages, we've also began tracking all of our HTML email campaigns as well setting up an intranet that allows us to send text announcements globally.

That all said, my role has me focused on the west coast markets of the US, primarily California and Nevada and I am constantly asked by our managing partners and board of directors if any of this will really make much of a difference over the next year or two given the state of the US economy. Unfortunately I don't always know how to answer this, while I believe had we been utilizing all these tools when they first became available we may have been in a slightly better position, it doesn't change the fact that the US has been struggling very badly with residential properties and I don't think we've seen all of the fallout possible on the commercial side of things. On the other hand, I think that it is important for our company moving forward to incorporate these tools and others into our daily activities so that when the market does improve we may have made some relationships we may not have made otherwise and be in a better position to make deals. But I'm curious, at the end of the day what do the tech savvy really believe of companies like ours using these tools?"


Google Native Client Puts x86 On the Web 367

t3rmin4t0r writes "Google has announced its Google native client, which enables x86 native code to be run securely inside a browser. With Java applets already dead and buried, this could mean the end of the new war between browsers and the various JavaScript engines (V8, Squirrelfish, Tracemonkey). The only question remains whether it can be secured (ala ActiveX) and whether the advantages carry over onto non-x86 platforms. The package is available for download from its Google code site. Hopefully, I can finally write my web apps in asm." Note: the Google code page description points out that this is not ready for production use: "We've released this project at an early, research stage to get feedback from the security and broader open-source communities." Reader eldavojohn links to a technical paper linked from that Google code page [PDF] titled "Native Client: A Sandbox for Portable, Untrusted x86 Native Code," and suggests this in-browser Quake demo, which requires the Native Code plug-in.
Linux Business

How Long Should an Open Source Project Support Users? 272

Ubuntu Kitten writes "Since October the community-generated database of cards known to work with Ndiswrapper has been down. This is apparently due to an on-going site redesign, but right now the usual URL simply directs to a stock Sourceforge page. Without the database, the software's usability is severely diminished but this raises an interesting question: Is an open source project obliged to provide support for its users? If so, for how long should the support last? Web servers cost money, especially for popular sites. While developers can sometimes find sponsorship, is it possible to get sponsorship simply for infrastructure and user services?"

Boot Windows Vista In Four Seconds 326

arcticstoat writes "Asus' budget motherboard wing, ASRock, claims that it's found a way to load a clean boot of Windows from a full shut down in just four seconds, using its new Instant Boot technology. The technology takes advantage of the S3 and S4 features of ACPI, which normally enable the Sleep/Standby and Hibernation modes in Windows respectively. However, by calling them at different times in the boot-up and shutdown process, Instant Boot enables you to boot up to your Windows desktop in three to four seconds, even after a proper shut down. Two modes are available; Fast mode, which uses S3 and boots up in around four seconds, and Regular Mode, which uses S4 and apparently takes between 20 and 22 seconds to boot. The advantage of Instant Boot when compared with normal Sleep and Hibernation modes is that you get the advantage of a clean boot of Windows, without what ASRock calls 'accumulated garbage data,' and you also get the security of knowing that you won't lose any data if there's a power cut and you lose AC power. There's also a video of it in action at the link above."

Yahoo Changes User Profiles, To Massive Outrage 255

Wiseleo writes "Yahoo decided to massively screw up their entire userbase by changing all user profiles to blank. No warning, no automated way to get data back, and other unwanted changes. The blog has such choice quotes as 'We know this has been a rough transition for some of you and, and are committed to helping you use, understand, and (hopefully) enjoy your new profile,' and, 'We also know lots of you worked hard on your old profiles and want your data. If you feel like you're missing data, we've saved a copy of your old profile (and alias) and our Customer Care team can retrieve this information. You won't, however, be able to revert back to your old profile format, but you will be able to get any data that you think is missing. To do this, please go here to contact Customer Care.' There were 850 comments posted, all negative, on the first day. There are hundreds more today. There is even more outrage on the Yahoo Messenger blog."
It's funny.  Laugh.

XKCD Invited To New Yorker "Cartoon-Off" 231

UnknowingFool writes "Farley Katz, who draws for New Yorker magazine, ran into xkcd.com's Randall Munroe in a grocery store. He challenged Munroe to a cartoon-off — each cartoonist to produce drawings about the Internet as envisioned by the elderly, String Theory, 1999, and one's favorite animal eating one's favorite food. In the ensuing short interview, Munroe describes XKCD as 'a webcomic about stick figures who do math, play with staple guns, mess around on the Internet, and have lots of sex. It's about three-fourths autobiographical.'"

Music Game Competition Heats Up 82

With Guitar Hero: World Tour set to launch on October 26th, Activision has released a list of downloadable content that will be immediately available. Activision has also apparently included a trailer for Guitar Hero: Metallica (which will arrive sometime next year), and they recently trademarked the name 'Guitar Hero Modern Hits,' which may be part of their plan to increase the amount of Guitar Hero content they produce. Meanwhile, new Rock Band 2 DLC tracks are coming as well, and the release dates for the PS2, PS3, and Wii versions have been set. Early reports say the Wii version made the platform jump better than the original Rock Band, and that all currently existing DLC will be available for Rock Band 2. MTV's Multiplayer blog took a look at Wii Music, which creator Shigeru Miyamoto calls, "Not quite a game and not quite an instrument."

Comment Re:Calling Shenanigans on this Review (Score 1) 713

For $130 keyboards? Here is a review for a non-enthusiast:

"It is $130. Move along."

There is a price range with everything that might enter the realm of luxury in which most people are going to balk at the price because the cheap version is plenty sufficient. Normal keyboards at the store are $20... this is not a keyboard for people that would ever say "$130? It's just a KEYBOARD!"

Therefore, I stand by my statement about requiring a keyboard enthusiast, as it would be someone from the niche of people that would consider buying the keyboard in the first place, instead of walking away from sticker shock.

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