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Comment Re:attorneys (Score 1) 973

For years I have wished that I could find the article, but it wasn't an article, it was only a blurb... in the back of the NYT, in the aggregate news from around the globe section, about two weeks before 9-11, there was a little note about some organization somewhere, funded by the US, having its funding frozen because it had been recently added to a UN terrorist group watch list.

Then 9-11.

For all of the evidence that everyone else has I can never help but to think that those folks, recently added to that watch list, wanted to have a close personal talk with the senators who had assured them their funding would be fine.

I wish I could find that... I even remember where I was when I read it.

Comment Re:That's plain ASCII to you... (Score 1) 246

Absolutely. The art of the ASCII file, the plain text editor, and the comma separated data file is more important than all of the internet.

1. Silent install? Well, great idea, but ideally you have one program file and maybe a few config files. This whole concept of installation is a product of lazy programmers and/or poorly written operating systems. There isn't anything to be done about it in modern computing... just sayin'.

2. No GUI. Totally. Similar to the concept of dependencies--you should know what you are doing before you consider yourself an admin. Same applies for computer security. If you cannot secure your local priveleges then no amount or combination of network firewalls or safety nets is going to save you from incompetence.

3. Somewhat disagree. API for remote admin? If it were written properly it would just run and remote admin would consist of editing the text config files.

5. Ideally all of the data is stored in the text files. That's easy enough. If you're worried about information security then pass the text files through your own custom made algorithm which you've hand-craftedly carefully buried within the asm of the executable.

6. Ha. I consider that like ftp. Log in and poke around. Is it up or down? That's all there is. If portions of your program become inaccessible when other portions are still running then you wrote it wrong or the underlying operating system sucks.

7, 8, 9... totally.

10. Documentation should be in ASCII text readable by any text editor/pager. _IF_ you create fancier docs from the original that is fine... ASCII plain text human readable should be first and foremost.

Cellphones

Modu Unveils Modular, Transformer-style Phone 88

An anonymous reader writes "A company called Modu has come up with an innovative take on a mobile phone. Instead of giving you the finished product, you get a base unit and a choice of 'sleeves', which you can plug the base unit into and turn it into a variety of devices. "If, for example, you're going out clubbing, you can pop it into a fashion sleeve with a fancy design. If you're on a business trip and you need a phone with a Qwerty keypad and large screen, you just have to pop it into a 'jacket' with those features." There's also the option to plug it into a satellite navigation device or even a car stereo. While it seems like an interesting system, I wonder whether modular devices are better than buying standalone products or all-in-one products?"
Microsoft

Submission + - PC World tests final version of Vista SP1 (pcworld.com)

Mac writes: "PC World ran the final version of Windows Vista SP1 through a first set of tests last night. Thought your readers might be interested in the results. Here's the bottom line. "In our first tests, file copying, one of the main performance-related complaints from Vista users, was significantly faster. But other tests showed little improvement and, in two tests, our experience was actually a little better without the service pack installed than with it.""
IBM

Submission + - Cell hits 45nm, PS3 price shrink likely to follow (arstechnica.com) 1

Septimus writes: At this weeks ISSCC, IBM announced that the Cell CPU used in the PlayStation 3 will soon make the transition to IBM's next-gen 45nm high-k process. 'The 45nm Cell will use about 40 percent less power than its 65nm predecessor, and its die area will be reduced by 34 percent. The greatly reduced power budget will cut down on the amount of active cooling required by the console, which in turn will make it cheaper to produce and more reliable (this means fewer warrantied returns). Also affecting Sony's per-unit cost is the reduction in overall die size. A smaller die means a smaller, cheaper package; it also means that yields will be better and that each chip will cost less overall.'
Space

Submission + - Final Frontier for the Paper Plane - Space!

tringtring writes: "Later this year Japanese scientists plan to launch a specially designed paper airplane from the International Space Station. Travelling at 17,000mph — the orbiting speed of the station — it is likely to cover more than a million miles before plunging into the Earth's atmosphere. A professor of aerospace engineering at Tokyo University showed the plane was capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 250C and winds seven times the speed of sound. He now plans to give a number of the 20cm planes, which have been treated with chemicals to resist heat and rain, to a Japanese astronaut for a launch from space station later this year. If the first mission is a success, the technology could be used to make unmanned spacecraft."

Feed Engadget: XPS M1330 BIOS update hints at upcoming Blu-ray / DVD combo drive (engadget.com)

Filed under: Laptops

The last Dell we saw with a slot-loading Blu-ray drive was the monster XPS M2010, but it looks like Round Rock's taking it mainstream soon -- the latest BIOS update for the popular XPS M1330 lists support for an unspecified "Blu-ray / DVD +/- RW Combo Drive." No word on when we'll see these actually for order, but if you were in the market for an M1330, you might consider holding off until these become available.

[Thanks, Rupert]

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Feed Engadget: Microsoft weighs in on "Save XP" Petition, sort of (engadget.com)

Filed under: Desktops, Laptops

It's no secret that there's quite a few folks hesitant (to say the least) to upgrade to Windows Vista, and Microsoft has somewhat accommodated them by extending sales of the tried-and-true Windows XP until June of 2008. That has unsurprisingly done little to satisfy most people, however, and some 75,000 of 'em have even signed a petition started by Infoworld that's attempting to "Save XP." After a couple of weeks, that now seems to have caught Microsoft's attention, although the company's response likely isn't what they were looking for. As Computerworld Australia reports, Microsoft says it's aware of the petition but that it's "listening first and foremost to feedback we hear from partners and customers about what makes sense based on their needs." As Slashdot points out, that statement's a little odd considering that most of the folks signing the petition are Microsoft customers, but either way it seems pretty clear that Microsoft is intent on showing XP the door as soon as possible.

[Via Slashdot]

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Education

Submission + - MIT's BattleCode contest (mit.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: The BattleCode software competition has become an annual tradition at MIT, and this year's battle was the fastest, most complex and most detailed yet. In the end, adaptability and responsiveness won the day. A team called "in memory of James Albrecht," whose program was especially adept at discerning its opponents' strategies and modifying its own accordingly, swept to victory in a record about as strong as that of the New England Patriots. The team, named in honor of an MIT senior who died last summer and had been a former teammate, lost only a single game out of the 16 played through to the finals.
Space

Submission + - Will Darwin find an other earthlike planet in the (spacestart.eu)

p1234 writes: Darwin observes in the infrared since life on Earth leaves its mark at these wavelengths. On Earth, biological activity produces gases that mingle with our atmosphere. For example, plants give out oxygen and animals expel carbon dioxide and methane.
Social Networks

Submission + - MyToons Animation Site Inks Deal With YouTube Chan

Meredith writes: "Business Wire SAN ANTONIO — February 6, 2008 — MyToons.com, the premier online animation community, today announced that it has inked a deal with video site YouTube to showcase the creative work of thousands of animators on the new MyToons branded YouTube channel. Launched last March at the prestigious SouthXSouthwest Festival in Austin, Texas, MyToons.com provides a global platform for animators to design and share their original animated videos, cartoons, and other content with animators and animation enthusiasts throughout the world. "We have thousands of animators utilizing our free upload and streaming system to broadcast their work to the world," said Paul Ford, co-founder and president of MyToons.com. "Our new channel with YouTube provides tremendous new exposure for our artists and enhances our ability to extend the MyToons brand, as well as to reach a broader consumer base with which to share high quality original animations." MyToons.com, dedicated to "everything animated," offers both professional and amateur animators a platform to reach a world-wide web of talented animators, industry specialists and fans alike. "YouTube is an important step on the road to much wider distribution for MyToons and our animation community members"," said Ford. "We're always focused on providing additional enhancements to give our animators even greater exposure." MyToons further supports the animation community through contests and events, as well as sponsorships. This week MyToons is a Silver Sponsor of the International Animated Film Society's (ASIFA) 35th Annual Annie Awards, which will take place on Friday, February 8, at UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles. The Annual Annie Awards recognizes the highest honors awarded for excellence in animation. ASIFA was founded by a group of professional animators in 1957 and encourages the preservation and extension of the art of animation, which mirrors MyToons' philosophy and mission."
Social Networks

Submission + - Wikispecs.org the Largest Product Database (wikispecs.org)

panad writes: "Wikispecs.org is a wiki style website maintained by the community http://www.wikispecs.org/ consists of a huge collection of product information and specifications. Visitors can learn everything about any product, request information, download literature and technical specifications as well as manuals, reviews, supporting softwares, etc. The launch of the website is a big step towards achieving one of the major goals of the Internet: categorize and catalogue every product that has been produced. Wikispecs which started as a hobby is a non-profit service. Its main aim is to index all the products in the world and present the maximum possible information on each one of them. The Wikispecs website is a great source of reliable information for online shops and product managers and is also a time-saving and cost-saving solution for product description editing and translation. The new website provides a user-friendly wikipedia style homepage with an easy access to all other sections of the site. The philosophy behind wikispecs is that any Internet user should have access to all information not only about immaterial human creations like wikipedia provides, but information about real products we all buy and use every day More than 2,500 products are already listed on the website and the founder's goal is to index more than 100,000 articles in the next 3 years. Additionally, a second step is to start generating a unique ID for every product on the market in order to help shops, price portals, auction websites and directories categorize products. www.wikispecs.org"

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