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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft counted as key Linux contributor, for now (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: For the first time ever, and probably only temporarily, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually.
Robotics

Submission + - TSA shuts down airport, detains 11 after 'science project' found (webpronews.com) 3

OverTheGeicoE writes: A group of students and a professor were detained by TSA at Dallas' Love Field. Several of them were led away in handcuffs. What did they do wrong? One of them left a robotic science experiment behind on an aircraft, which panicked a boarding flight crew. The experiment 'looked like a cell phone attached to a remote control car with some exposed wires protruding.' Of course, the false alarm inconvenienced more than the traveling academics. The airport was temporarily shut down and multiple gates were evacuated, causing flight delays and diversions.
Patents

Submission + - iPad app that lets mute kids speak menaced by patent lawsuit (theregister.co.uk) 1

Mojo66 writes: A company that makes specialist talking tablet computers for speech-disabled children has mounted a patent lawsuit which seems set to kill off an iPad app that does the same thing for a tenth of the price. Prentke Romich's Minspeak touchscreen devices enable mute children to communicate through a speech synthesiser controlled by an on-screen keyboard of symbols. Kids hit buttons to string together sentences. Prentke says a dynamic keyboard of symbols and the ability to redefine these keys have been patented — and Speak For Yourself allegedly violates these patents.
United States

Submission + - Michael Jackson dies

markrich writes: CNN reports that Michael Jackson has died from a heart attack today in LA. He had to be revived at his home and the went into a coma where he then died. He was 50 years old.
Software

W3C's Role In the Growth of a Proprietary Web 228

Paul Ellis writes "Mozilla's Asa Dotzler has said 'It's really hard for me to believe that either [Microsoft or Adobe] have the free and open Web at heart when they're actively subverting it with closed technologies like Flash and Silverlight.' But are they really subverting it? Where is the line between serving the consumer and subverting the Web? This blog post makes the case that the W3C's glacial process should share in the blame for the growth of proprietary technologies."
The Courts

Hans Reiser Leads Police To Nina's Body 1523

jlmcgraw was the first to alert us that Hans Reiser has led police to the location in the Oakland Hills where he buried the body of his wife Nina. (We discussed the rumor that he would do so last month.) SFGate.com reports that remains were recovered but have not yet been identified. Reiser is to be sentenced on Wednesday. CBS5 claims that Reiser made a deal for a reduced sentence, to 15 years, in exchange for revealing the body.
Transportation

Submission + - The Secret Dive Patterns of Whale Sharks

Ponca City, We love you writes: "The world's biggest fish — the whale shark — doesn't have a reputation for speed but researchers have discovered that although the fish seem sluggish on the surface, deep down they are deceptively fast. A research team studying male whale sharks off the coast of Western Australia, noticed they used their weight and gravity to nose-dive to the ocean floor like airborne hawks hunting for mice. "We found they are basically not using any energy to move — they are diving down in a glide like an eagle or a falcon. Because they are using no tail beats they are literally sinking," says Brad Norman of Murdoch University in Perth. The team believes the discovery reveals how these ocean giants manage to travel across the world and find enough food to fuel their large bodies, which can measure up to 12 meters in length. Besides diving to feed, the Ningaloo Reef whale sharks also seem to use their dives as part of a 'bounding' pattern — swimming up and down in this way might allow them to take advantage of gravity for propulsion.Information about the whale shark's deep-water life was collected using an electronic tag attached to its fin by a clamp mechanism. The clamp is designed to corrode over time and then drop off, leaving the tag to float to the surface where it transmits a location signal to researchers. Norman and his colleagues hope this discovery will inspire people to contribute to a global database used to identify and document whale-shark movement around the globe."
Movies

Submission + - 2001: A Space Odyssey (associatedcontent.com)

MarkWhittington writes: "April 6th, 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in theaters. 2001 was at once a film and a phenomenon, which purported to show a vision not only of humankind's future in space, but of the next step in evolution. 2001: A Space Odyssey was directed by the famed film director Stanley Kubrick who had already won acclaim for Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, and Spartacus among other films. The screen play and the book that was released concurrent with the film was written by the late Arthur C. Clarke, along with Kubrick. Clarke was already famous as one of the giants of science fiction. 2001 would catapult him into legend."
Google

Submission + - Gmail Custom Time

kushboy writes: Google has released Gmail Custom TimeTM to the public. Though it doesn't state, it is most probably still in beta. Its main feature allows users to send an email from a previous time. Currently it only supports going back to April 1, 2004, the day of Gmail's launch. Additionally, users have a limit of 10 uses of Custom Time. The product page does not make much mention any abuses this service could be used for.
Announcements

Submission + - Canadian DMCA bill withdrawn from House of Commons (michaelgeist.ca)

ToriaUru writes: "The Canadian Minister of Industry, Mr. Jim Prentice has withdrawn the proposed Canadian Digital Millennium Copyright Act legislation that was due to be tabled in the Canadian House of Commons tomorrow. This is due to the overwhelming response by Canadians from every walk of life towards their Members of Parliament, the Industry Minister's office, and his counterpart at the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, Ms. Josee Verger. The story is taking hold in the main stream press of Canada, with stories here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071209.WBmingram20071209191018/WBStory/WBmingram/ and here on CBC http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/12/10/tech-copyright.html/ The power of the people talking."
Communications

Submission + - Western Digital blocks audio file sharing (bbc.co.uk)

LionMage writes: "This morning, I saw a disturbing article on the BBC about Western Digital caving in to Hollywood interests and prohibiting all sharing of music and audio files using their products. Buried deep in the article are the details: this blocking pertains to NAS products, and specifically to Western Digital's Access Anywhere software. Over 30 file types are blocked by the software. The software does not make allowances if, for example, you are the rights holder and are allowing distribution of your own content.

More coverage of this can be found elsewhere around the web."

Windows

Submission + - Claim - new machines will be linux proof. (whatreallyhappened.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: the new VISTA machines coming in next year are rumored to be set up to prevent people from installing alternate operating systems such as XP or, for that matter, LINUX.

(So — anyone have a theory how the DRM be set up to do this?)

Feed The Register: How a bread truck invented the internet (theregister.com)

With thanks to Vint Cerf's hearing aids

On November 22, 1977, as it motored down the street somewhere south of San Francisco, a souped-up delivery van sent some information to a computer lab at the University of Southern California, 400 miles away. No one can quite remember what the information was, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is the way it traveled.


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